National restrictions in multinational military operations: A conceptual framework

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Recent scholarship in security studies has started to explore the causes and consequences of various forms of national restrictions in multinational military operations (MMOs). This article makes a conceptual contribution to this literature by developing a theoretical framework of national restrictions in MMOs that distinguishes between structural, procedural, and operational restrictions. I argue that these types of restrictions are governed by different causal mechanisms. Structural restrictions are relatively stable over time and effect deployment decisions irrespective of other factors. Procedural restrictions, on the other hand, can constitute veto points against deployment only in combination with distinct political preferences. Finally, operational restrictions directly affect the rules of engagement of troop contributing countries. The article illustrates the three types of restrictions and their interaction with empirical examples from a range of countries and sketches their impact on MMO deployment decisions and mandates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-55
JournalContemporary Security Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alliances
  • veto power
  • caveats
  • domestic politics
  • institutional analysis
  • institutional and legal environment
  • parliamentary war powers
  • political contestation
  • Political decision making
  • military intervention


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