CEUR Working Paper No. 5, January 2013
Networks in transatlantic homeland securitycooperation: from a metaphor to an analytical tool
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, a number of new informal mechanisms of cooperation emerged between European and American policymakers in order to address the need for better expertise, flexibility and specialisation. New dialogues allowed for the exchange of information and learning. At the same time they have enhanced trust among participants which in turn has contributed to the proliferation of informal and personal relationships between policymakers and created the foundations for the emergence of more flexible and imaginative 'soft' policy instruments. The empirical focus in this paper is hence on the shift from hierarchical to network structures in transatlantic homeland security cooperation. It demonstrates how, in light of numerous challenges of both a political and legal nature, networks have reduced the number of deadlocks and increased cooperation between actors. The paper provides a general overview of the existing scholarship on networks as actors and structures. It also discusses network characteristics that can stimulate either conflict or cooperation in the policymaking process. The paper then proceeds with the empirical analysis of how networks have developed at the transatlantic level and demonstrates how network politics influences the nature of the policymaking process and the outcomes. Finally, the paper proposes a set of methods and procedures that might be useful in the investigation of networks in international politics.