Methods and approach

According to our working definition regional security cultures are patterns of thought and argumentation that establish pervasive and durable security preferences by formulating concepts of the role, legitimacy and efficacy of particular approaches to protect values. 

We propose to establish the existence of regional security cultures on the basis of a textual analysis of key documents of the regional organisations concerned as well as foreign policy pronouncements of its individual member states. These documents will go back at least to the time of the establishment of a particular regional organisation and cover its entire period to trace possible evolution. 

We intend thereby to identify a significant degree of consistency across time and across different strategic contexts in relation to a set of ranked preferences about how security issues are tackled by members. The impact of regional security cultures affecting the workings of the selected six regional organisations will be assessed in relation to three transnational security challenges each. These will be broadly similar to allow us to also draw a useful comparison between regions.