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Conceptual framework

Conceptualizing transatlantic relations
This group sets the conceptual framework for the redefinition of the transatlantic relationship. It defines the hypotheses describing the current state of the transatlantic relationship: a) structural drift; b) functional relationship; c) enduring partnership.

Mar 292013

Transworld Paper No. 12

by Andrew Byrne

This paper reviews liberal and realist interpretations of interstate alignment. It looks at the differing forms that alliances and partnerships have taken since the Cold War era with particular reference to the empirical record of transatlantic relations and scenarios for its future. Writers often dismiss realist and liberal interpretations as respectively pessimistic or optimistic about the prospects for transatlantic relations but there is significant debate within each school about the drivers of alignment, how this relates to the agent-structure debate and what this means for transatlantic relations. This paper highlights the shortcomings of purely structural explanations for alignment but also calls into question the functions ascribed to alignment behaviour by scholars of both disciplines. In an era of emerging threats and rising economic powers, theorists will have to address how more informal modes of collaboration can adapt to new challenges in a less Atlantic-centred world.


Nov 202012

Transworld Working Paper 05 by Meltem Müftüler-Baç and Damla Cihangir What role does the European integration process play in shaping transatlantic relations, if any? The question brings forth the related issue of whether the EU is able to exercise leadership in fostering changes in the international system and through its relationship with the US. The [...]

Oct 012012

Transworld Working Paper 04 by Nathalie Tocci and Riccardo Alcaro In a world of growing interconnectedness and shifting power balances, the transatlantic relationship has lost its bearings. Old transatlantic paradigms have run their course, and yet no credible alternative has emerged. To this end, three steps are necessary: first, identify the changes, at both systemic [...]

Oct 012012

Transworld Working Paper 03 by Maria G. Cowles and Michelle Egan Despite recent perceptions that the end of the Cold War deprived the transatlantic partnership of its central rationale, successive American administrations have faced the challenge of reassuring European leaders that they share common interests in the international arena. Europeans have alternated between full embrace [...]