Early in the post-socialist era, Slovenia viewed full North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership as one of its major political goals. Yet, this goal has not yet been accomplished, with only the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland admitted during the first round of NATO enlargement. The rejection of the Slovenian application received considerable attention, both in Europe and in the United States. Furthermore, the fact that Slovenia did not qualify for the first round of NATO expansion has been perceived in Slovenia as a heavy blow to its government. Policymakers and scholars alike are still sorting out the reasons for this political defeat.
Using polling data, printed material, and interviews with Lithuanian and Ukrainian diplomats, the book convincingly shows the soundness of the Baltic and Ukrainian security goals without glossing over some difficulties, both internal and external.
To explore the dynamics of post-commitment politics, eight cases studies of the foreign policy decision-making process in the Federal Republic of Germany relative to commitments to the European Community and NATO in the 1970s and 1980s are presented. A comparative analysis of the cases demonstrates the importance of modifying the two-level game model to account for the sequential and complex nature of the ratification process in the post-commitment phase. The study concludes that factionalism in the major party government and inter-party coalition differences are primary, but often hidden, constraints on a leader's ability to uphold international agreements, and it shows how international commitments can awaken dormant domestic constituencies along the road to ratification. This is a work of great significance to scholars and researchers in the areas of foreign policy analysis, international organizations, and German politics.
Lieberfeld also evaluates developments since the breakthrough agreements. He concludes by identifying revised indicators of conflicts' ripeness for negotiated settlement and discussing their applicability to other cases of intense, protracted conflict.