Political Science, Department of


First Advisor

Patrice McMahon

Date of this Version



Kyriss, Marxen. 2018. "Shield or Glue? Key Policy Issues Constraining or Enhancing Multinational Collective Ballistic Missile Defense." Ph.D. diss. University of Nebraska at Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Political Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Patrice McMahon. Lincoln, Nebraska: November, 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018 Marxen Kyriss


This dissertation explores a series of eleven political factors nations would have to consider should they contemplate joining a military coalition or alliance that uses ballistic missile defense (BMD); which of these factors incentivize or dissuade states from joining this coalition, and whether they vary from region to region, or state to state. It uses a two-stage case-study-based qualitative research design, in which the first theory generation phase was comprised of 21 experimentation events over a ten-year period with BMD policy experts from 24 nations led by the United States Strategic Command known as NIMBLE TITAN. The results of these 21 events were used to distill eleven BMD-related policy independent variables affecting the dependent variable, the decision to join a coalition or alliance that uses BMD. The second, data collection phase, interviewed 22 BMD policy experts from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs of 17 nations and NATO, from four regions including the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Gulf, and North America. The results of the interviews were used to not only assess these variables as they contributed to the DV, but to create a causal model that looks at those which affect joining a coalition, those which were found to only matter within an existing coalition or alliance, and those which, if handled badly, would incentivize a state to leave a coalition or alliance. This work concludes with a series of recommendations for policy makers who may wish to create such a coalition in the future, and areas for future research.

Advisor: Dr. Patrice McMahon