Sharing the Burden?: NATO and its Second-Tier Powers

Sharing the Burden?: NATO and its Second-Tier Powers

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By Benjamin Zyla
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
344 Pages
ISBN 9781442615595
Published Feb 2015
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ISBN 9781442647503
Published Feb 2015
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442668393
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Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, NATO’s middle powers have been pressured into shouldering an increasing share of the costs of the transatlantic alliance. In Sharing the Burden? Benjamin Zyla rejects the claim that countries like Canada have shirked their responsibilities within NATO.

Using a range of measures that go beyond troop numbers and defense budgets to include peacekeeping commitments, foreign economic assistance, and contributions to NATO’s rapid reaction forces and infrastructure, Zyla argues that, proportionally, Canada’s NATO commitments in the 1990s rivaled those of the alliance’s major powers. At the same time, he demonstrates that Canadian policy was driven by strong normative principles to assist failed and failing states rather than a desire to ride the coattails of the United States, as is often presumed.

An important challenge to realist theories, Sharing the Burden? is a significant contribution to the debate on the nature of alliances in international relations.

Benjamin Zyla is an assistant professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.


Chapter One: Introduction

PART ONE: Frameworks
Chapter Two: Traditional Thinking on Burden Sharing
Chapter Three: The Conceptual Puzzle of the ‘New World Order’

PART TWO: Military Burdens 
Chapter Four: The ‘New’ Wars in the Balkans
Chapter Five: The Balkans, Part II

PART THREE: Civilian Burdens
Chapter Six: NATO of Canada’s Dreams: Practicing Civilian Burden Sharing, Part I
Chapter Seven: Share of the Civilian Burden, Part II


Sharing the Burden? is a book that stands on its own within the Canadian and American literature on international relations. It is time to recognize the extent of the Canadian contribution to NATO, and this book does.”

Charles Doran, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Sharing the Burden? is a sophisticated analysis of NATO’s second-tier powers.”

Carl Hodge, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia Okanagan

‘Zyla has produced an outstanding study of Canada’s role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from the Cold War’s end through the 1990s… The author’s summary of NATO’s evolution during this time period is especially well done… Highly recommended.’

R.C. Hendrickson, Choice Magazine - vol 53:01:2015