Bulletin n. 1/2017
June 2017
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Heidi Hardt
    How NATO remembers: explaining institutional memory in NATO crisis management
    in European Security , Volume 26, Issue 1 ,  2017 ,  120-148
    This article introduces an argument for how institutional memory of crisis management operations develops in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Scholars of European security and of international organisations have examined organisational learning, but have yet to explain its precondition: institutional memory. In a context of increasing turnover due to defence budget cuts, it remains unclear how shared knowledge of strategic errors is acquired. This article finds that the NATO secretariat facilitates practitionersí use of informal processes for contributing to institutional memory in response to the constraints of existing formal learning processes. These formal processes, including a lessons learned centre and a lessons learned database, inadvertently disincentivise practitioners from contributing such knowledge as using them can incur reputational costs. Drawing on NATO documentation and interviews with 27 NATO elite practitioners, the paper provides evidence that practitioners instead share knowledge through three informal processes: interpersonal communications, private documentation and crisis simulations.
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