The Atlantic Basin: An eclectic but converging region?

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Series Details No.127, May 2015
Publication Date 22/05/2015
ISSN 1989-2667
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The Atlantic Basin receives less attention from international relations experts than other maritime spaces around the world, such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Arctic Circle, the Indian Ocean or the Asia-Pacific. This is probably, at least in part, because this enormous geopolitical area – including countries from North America, Central America, Europe as well as littoral countries in South America and Africa - is very eclectic.

However, the vast majority of the countries that form the Atlantic basin are democracies, and collectively they account for the majority of global trade and foreign investment as well as a very large and growing proportion of energy resources. In addition, the absence of entrenched rivalry among the main powers of the Atlantic Basin is notable compared to the hardening geopolitics of other regions.

This FRIDE working paper highlights some of the principal dimensions of interdependence within the Atlantic Basin - such as trade, investment and energy - as well as the main political and security trends therein.

It shows that intra-Atlantic links and common challenges are growing, but also that connections between Atlantic countries and Asia, notably China, are fast expanding. On that basis, the paper assesses the prospects for future cooperation across this massive maritime space.

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