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Florence School of Transnational Governance

Trine Flockhart explores NATO's role in a changing global order

In the latest International Affairs issue on ‘NATO at 75’, Trine Flockhart, Chair in Security Studies at the European University Institute's Florence School of Transnational Governance, examines how NATO's position is evolving in a shifting global order.

19 March 2024


The North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO was signed in Washington on 4 April 1949. In an article marking the organisation’s 75th birthday, Tine Flockhart looks at the crucial point NATO faces after Russia's Ukraine invasion and the subsequent changes in the global landscape. Stressing the need to look beyond immediate events, the article argues that NATO's future is also about the broader transformation of the global order.

Using her expertise in governance and security studies, Flockhart highlights the rise of a multi-order world with competing actors like the US, Russia, and China. She writes that it is not about “remaining anchored to past understandings of the global order” but rather about a new global order that is emerging.

Trine Flockhart explained: “NATO has always been in some crisis, but it has been a resilient organisation, adapting when the world changed. It is not quite able to do this at the moment, partly because of disunity within NATO, but also because it has not fully understood the changes in the global rules-based order.” 

The article also emphasises how the alliance has balanced its roles as a military group and a community of shared values over 75 years.

Professor Flockhart's analysis raises key questions about NATO's ability to support the liberal international order in a multi-order world and the need to adjust strategies for geopolitical shifts and authoritarian trends.

As an expert in security and governance, Professor Flockhart's research offers valuable insights into NATO's future and its role in global security.

Trine Flockhart joined the Florence School of Transnational Governance in January 2024. She is currently on leave from the University of Southern Denmark, where she was a Professor of International Relations, Chair of Social Science at the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies (D-IAS) and Co-Director of the Center for War Studies.

Read the article NATO in the multi-order world  by Trine Flockhart on International Affairs, Volume 100, Issue 2, March 2024, Pages 471–489. Her article is meant to provide policymakers, academics, and practitioners with a better understanding of the alliance's strategic goals in a complex world.

Trine Flockhart NATO

Last update: 19 March 2024

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