NATO after the Warsaw Summit 2016: British-Polish Perspectives in an Uncertain Security Environment

Queens University Belfast

Project summary

In a February 2016 visit to Warsaw, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called for a ‘full strategic partnership with Poland”, he added “I want to make a success of the vital NATO summit here in July and work to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance… standing up to Russian aggression”. The Polish government recognises the vital role the UK plays in European defence and seeks full British support for any further strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank. Both countries participated in the recent joint military exercise Anaconda-16 in Poland, alongside other NATO partners and the UK has also committed 1,000 military personnel to the Polish-led Very High Joint Task force in 2020. Moreover, the 2016 UKPoland Quadriga meeting between Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of both countries reaffirmed the centrality of NATO for both Poland and the UK and highlighted the challenges of adapting NATO to new and future threats, without losing its core function as a territorial defence organisation.

It is against this backdrop that the project will shed light on and investigate British and Polish perspectives on security and defence policy within the framework of the evolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Taking as its starting point the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016 the researchers will conduct research into how the decisions taken there and the subsequent evolution of the Alliance’s role will shape British and Polish security and defence policies in the context of an uncertain security environment. In turn, the project will seek to map and assess areas of convergence and divergence between the two countries vis a vis NATO and a range of broader security issues.


Principal Investigator
Professor Alister Miskimmon

Head of School at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queens University Belfast. Previously, he was a Co-Director, Centre for European Politics and Reader in European Politics and International Relations at the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published a number of books including, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order, New York: Routledge, 2013 (with Ben O’Loughlin and Laura Roselle) which was awarded the 2016 Best Book Award by the International Communication Section of the International Studies Association; The Politics of the New Germany 2nd Edition, London, Routledge (2011) (with Simon Green and Dan Hough); The Gathering Crisis: Germany and the Grand Coalition since 2005, Palgrave, Basingstoke (2008) (with William E Paterson and James Sloam) and Germany and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, Basingstoke, Palgrave, Basingstoke (2007). I am also co-editing a volume with Ben O’Loughlin and Laura Roselle Forging the World: Strategic Narratives in International Relations, to be published in 2017. His research interests are primarily in the areas of strategic narratives, German, European and global security issues and European integration.

Professor Kerry Longhurst

Jean Monnet Professor at Collegium Civitas and senior Researcher at the College of Europe, Natolin. She has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Strategic Studies from the University of Wales. She held an Advanced Marie Curie Fellowship at Ifri in Paris and was also Senior Lecturer at the European Research Institute at the University of Birmingham. Prof. Longhurst has published widely on European Neighbourhood issues as well as other topics in European Security.