of Udmurt University
Sociology. Political Science. International Relations



Author(-s) Chernyshev Maxim V.
Abstract Strategic partnership between EU Member States and the United States is one of the central issues in the subject of international relations. The majority of agreements reached as part of EU-US bilateral relations concern trade and foreign policy issues. The realisation of policy initiatives in these fields to the large extent depends on adherence to Atlanticism as a sort of quasi-ideology which implies support for rapprochement between Europe and America. In common mind the power gap between the two strategic actors which represent to Western civilisation, the US and the EU, seems to be the consequence of numerous factors, including their military capabilities, political motivations, regional priorities, different threat perceptions, and security strategies. On the other hand, one needs to explain whether public support for transatlantic partnership is genuinely based on shared values and long-term interests or is contingent and conditional on short-term personal factors (attitude to American presidents), political opportunities and pressures (reaction to certain initiatives of the American administration in doing foreign policy). In this essay the term Atlanticism is used as identified by Graeger and Haugevik (2009) to denote a specific type of policy identity and orientation, anchored in geographical location, historical ties with the US and a wary attitude to European integration. Approaches of several international relations theories related to analysis of the concept of Atlanticism have been reviewed. One of them, grounded in a rationalist style of reasoning, is applicable to see the strategic choices of states as structurally determined. Their long-term interests are exogenously given - meaning that they can largely be explained with reference to external structures such as geopolitics, great-power politics and spheres of interest. While such an approach to studying foreign policy orientations can be fruitful in many cases, it is less so in the context of a more profound research, where the purpose is precisely to trace changes in the seemingly deep-seated Atlanticist identities of European countries such as the UK and Italy or on the contrary, in the countries with strong historical tradition of anti-Americanism like France. Nevertheless, despite the formation of the concept of “new Atlanticism” in the last decade, an evident coherence with the established intellectual tradition existing since the late 19th century can be observed.
Keywords Atlanticism, Atlantic community, Atlantic Union, Western civilisation, Lippmann, Streit, NATO’s enlargement, American foreign policy, international relations, liberal institutionalism, peace theory, realism, constructivism
UDC 316.2
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