Рус Eng During last 365 days Approved articles: 1969,   Articles in work: 291 Declined articles: 829 
Articles and journals | Tariffs | Payments | Your profile

Back to contents

NATO’s decision-making process and small countries’ diplomacy
Grigoryan Aramayis Vyacheslavovich

PhD in Politics

Attache at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, the CIS Department, Russia Division 

Office 912, Government House #2, Vazgen Sargsyan 3, Yerevan 0010, Republic of Armenia


The topicality of this problem is determined by the fact that NATO remains one of the strongest security structures in the international arena, and the processes in this organization are among the most important issues to be studied. The research subject is the decision-making process within NATO and the role and significance of small countries in this process. To protect their interests, small countries connect their national security with different regional defense organizations such as NATO. Important components of NATO’s decision-making process are the consensus principle, consultations, and indivisibility of security within the Alliance. The author also considers the attitude of other members of the Alliance to the small countries’ policies and maneuvers. The author uses the institutional method to detect the key functions and directions of NATO’s activities, structural-functional analysis – to consider the structural peculiarities of the organization and the role of its member-states, and the ontological method – to study NATO’s power and the relations of domination and subordination within NATO. The author concludes that small countries within NATO have particular leverages within the decision-making process. It is determined by the institutional and legal peculiarities of the organization and its fundamental principles. For small countries, it is possible to guarantee security and protect national interests within NATO, and at the same time, each member-state concedes a part of its sovereignty to the organization. 

Keywords: Decision-making process, Great Power, Consultations, Partnership for peace, North-Atlantic Council, Consensus, NATO, Small countries, National interests, Security



Article was received:


Review date:


Publish date:


This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

Benecke U., «Reconsidering NATO’s Decision Making Process», U.S. Army War College, 30 March 2007, S. 24
Keohane R., «Lillitputians' Dilemmas: Small States in International Politics», in «Small States in International Relations», (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006), S. 22
Payne K., «The European Security and Defence Policy and the future of NATO», NATO Research Fellow, 2001-2003, S. 36
Setälä M., Small States and NATO «Influence and Accommodation», occasional papers no 6, A Thematic Summary of the Contributions to the Conference on «Small States and NATO», Organised by the Atlantic Council of Finland in Helsinki on 29 November 2004, S. 37
The North Atlantic Treaty;
Protsess konsul'tatsii i stat'ya 4; :
Severoatlanticheskii sovet;
Agreement among the States Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty and the other States participating in the Partnership for Peace regarding the Status of their Forces;
NATO Defence Planning Process;
Statement by NATO Foreign Ministers on Assurance to Turkey;
NAC Statement on the shooting down of a Turkish aircraft by Syria;
NATO Support to Turkey within the Framework of Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty;
Guðmundsson Guðmundur J., «The Cod and the Cold War». Scandinavian Journal of History, Volume 31, 2006 S. 97–118