The United States and the European Union. The political economy of a relationship

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Series Details No.8
Publication Date 1999
ISBN 1-85075-998-7
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In this book, the author aims to describe the evolution of the relationship between the United States and the European Union, from the founding of the European Economic Community and its sister institutions in the 1950s to the present day. It is not simply a historical narrative: the focus is on the political economy aspects of the US-EU relationship and takes a multidisciplinary approach to include political, economic, historical and geographic aspects. The author identities the relationship between the US and the EU as primarily an economic one, and in this way it differs from the US relationship with individual European countries, which have had the more formal characteristics of traditional diplomatic relations in conjunction with, in some cases, a shared culture, ideology and national interest.

The author seeks to answer three main questions. First, has the relationship between the US and the EU been one of competition or co-operation? The author contends that, while the US and EU member countries share similar political and economic ideologies, their relationship contains many adversarial elements. Second, who has benefited from the expansion of US-EU relations? The answer is not confined to considering just the US and the EU: domestic interest groups, international institutions and political and economic ideas are also included. Third, which issues and events are likely to shape the relationship between the US and EU in the early part of the twenty-first century? The historical background presented in this book should equip the reader with the ability to make informed judgements on the future of US-EU relations.
The book is mainly aimed at undergraduates and is well suited for courses on Europe's external relations, US foreign policy, political economy and contemporary global issues.

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