Debating transatlantic security in the United States Congress

Event start date
Event start time

Pinni B building, auditorium 1097, address: Kanslerinrinne 1.


Doctoral defence of M.Soc.Sc. Teemu Mäkinen

Debating Transatlantic Security in the United States Congress : A study of senate armed services and foreign relations committees in the 111th and 112th congress (2009-2012)

The field of science of the dissertation is Political Science.

The opponent is professor Wolfgang Wagner (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands). Professor Tapio Raunio acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is English.

Debating Transatlantic Security in the United States Congress

This dissertation examines transatlantic security debates in the United States Congress during President Obama’s first term, 2009-2012. The purpose is to create a comprehensive picture of American foreign policy debate, with an emphasis on two committees; Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. The issues debated were NATO’s performance in Afghanistan and Libya, American European-based missile defense system, American military presence in Europe, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Russo-American relations. Special attention was paid to ideological aspects of American foreign policy discourse.

Based on the results, reflexive partisanship did not define the debate. Only discussion over American European-based missile defense divided the congressional response per partisan lines. Ideology and issue-specific details, rather than partisan polarization, defined the response. Of specific interest was the Republican insistence of not compromising with Russia on any issue, yet at the same time many Republicans were eager to support candidate Trump when he voiced his rather unorthodox – at least for a Republican presidential candidate – views of U.S.-Russian relations.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2352, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2018. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1858, Tampere University Press 2018.

The dissertation can be ordered at: Juvenes e-bookstore or by e-mail:

Additional information