Old Europe, new Europe and the transatlantic security agenda

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 2005
ISBN 0-415-34820-X
Content Type

Contents originally published in European Security, Vol.13, No.4, Winter 2004.


Unilateral action is a precious responsibility bestowed on the US following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the more easily discharged if the US can recruit some near-sycophant states to endorse it. Supreme power is exercised more responsibly when answering to the checks and balances of international law. ‘New’ Europe comprises those endorsing US policy and ‘Old’ Europe those conscious of the necessary checks and balances, or at least that was the understanding conveyed by the US Secretary of Defence who articulated the term ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Europe. This book seeks to explain how and why this schism occurred.

The work is organised over nine chapters. The first provides the background to transatlantic relations before and after the end of the Cold War. Chapter two looks at German security policy in the period after 9/11, through the prism of Germany’s strategic culture and against the backdrop of intellectual and political change in Germany associated with the idea of the Berlin Republic. Chapter three examines US-French relations under the heading of highly emotional states, considering why the US - and not just its administration - has such a dark brooding suspicion of the French and also explaining the French self-image which is so frequently challenged by the US. Chapter four considers the British strategic culture, fashioned as it has been in modern times by two world wars and a diminution of its power in the final throes of colonialism, seeking to retain influence through a voice in the corridors of multilateral power and, in recent years, through the Blair attachment to the remaining unilateral supreme power of the US. Chapter five explores the origins and conduct of Poland’s foreign and security policy, particularly in light of events between 2001 and 2003. European security is the focus of chapter six which argues that European strategic culture reflects the experience and security environment of the latter half of the twentieth century and that there is a real need for a rethink to take account of the situations that have developed in a post 9/11 world. Chapter seven continues the examination of European strategy to understand where it might be heading following the 2003 European Security Strategy. Chapter eight explores the evolution of US perspectives on the new transatlantic security agenda in the context of the war on terrorism and the Iraq War, and questions whether or not the shared transatlantic security culture collapsed in the wake of 9/11; have US leaders manipulated strategic cultures to achieve security objectives in the new era whilst the Bush administration has mischievously engaged in the division of Europe into ‘old’ and ‘new’ to extend the US area of influence. The final chapter looks at the future of European security which might be more representative of the newly enlarged Europe, and considers that the division over the Iraq War may heal and as so often with scar tissue become stronger for the experience.

The work will interest scholars and students engaged in the fields of International Relations, European Union studies and European Union integration.

Kerry Longhurst is Lecturer in German and European Security and Assistant Director of the European Research Institute at the Unviersity of Birmingham. Marcin Zaborowski is Lecturer in European Politics at Aston University and a Research Fellow at the Center for International Relations in Warsaw.

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