Gavin E L Hall

NATO’s Post-Cold War Transformation: Exploring Change in Counter-Insurgency, Collective Defence, and Cyber-Security

Supervisor: Professor Mark WebberDr. Jamie Gaskarth

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that operates today in the new security environment of the 21st Century is significantly different from the organisation that was created to implement the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. A continued process of transformation, involving the constitute elements of institutionalisation, effectiveness and adaptation, has been present throughout the organisation's history. The significant temporal marker for the core of the transformation process is the end of the Cold War as prior to the London Declaration of 1990 NATO had not engaged in a single military operation, whilst multiple operations across the globe have been conduct simultaneously since.

The objective of this thesis is to examine and analyse the transformation that NATO has undergone. This is both an empirical and theoretical process. Firstly, empirical data on NATO will be presented to establish an understanding of the transformation process that has occurred in the post-Cold War era, before utilising institutionalist theory to aid explanation of this process. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the decline in the immediacy of the direct military threat to the NATO member states a significant debate emerged. On the one hand, the broad church of realism argued that without an exogenous threat to sustain an alliance the interest of states in maintaining it would be minimal. Proponents of institutionalism, on the other, contended that NATO performed a variety of functions, both formal and informal, that enabled it to have a utility in the future security dynamics that member states may seek to explore. In essence, the core of the debate was whether institutions matter or not.


  • BA(Hons) - War Studies - Kings' College, London
  • MA with Disticntion - Terrorism, International Crime & Global Security - Coventry University.

Research interests

  • NATO
  • Cyber-Security
  • UK Defence Policy
  • International Security

Teaching responsibilities

  • Research Skills and Literacy: Philosophy and Method in the Social Sciences
  • CIA, Intelligence & American Foreign Policy
  • End of Empire: Problems of International History
  • International Security
  • Analysing Political Worlds
  • Rebels & Revolutionaries
  • Problems of Global History

Professional memberships

  • Royal Institute of International Affairs
  • British International Studies Association
  • Royal United Services Institute
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Navy Records Society
  • Royal Air Force Historical Society


Hall, G. (2015) ‘The Cyber Threat to the United Kingdom’. The Birmingham Brief [5th February] available from

Contact details:

Twitter: @GavinELHall