This essay tries to point to a set of factors explaining the growing "politicization" of the security issue-area in Western Europe. By politicization it is meant here that an issue-area — in our case, military defence of Western Europe against the Soviet threat—gains a primary role on the political agenda of a country or a set of countries so that its content, limits and rules are put into question. Two manifestations of such a politicization were, on the one hand, the vast mass mobilization across Western Europe against the NATO decision to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles, and, on the other hand, the intense debate on defence and security postures in Western Europe. 1