SoSe 14: EU and United States Foreign and Security Policy in Comparative Perspective: Prospects for Transatlantic Cooperation
The end of the East-West conflict (“11/9”) and the terrorist attacks of September 2001 (“9/11”) significantly altered or accentuated the political agenda in general and the security agenda in ... read more
The end of the East-West conflict (“11/9”) and the terrorist attacks of September 2001 (“9/11”) significantly altered or accentuated the political agenda in general and the security agenda in particular of “the West” (and beyond), i. e. of EU-Europe and the United States of America (as well as Canada). Instead of traditional military threats transatlantic partners, governments and societies (as well as other part of the World) encounter sources of insecurity, which are new or at least have gained new relevance: international/transnational terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, failing states, transnational migration or organized crime. Hence, instead of ‘threats’ security ‘risks’ have emerged, associated with state and non-state actors, whose intentions and capabilities are not always obvious. Moreover, the global economic crisis has evolved since 2008 very much questioning the effectiveness and legitimacy of western policy-making and possibly undermining the West’s international standing and impact on global governance.
The empirical focus of this seminar will be on the various ‘security risks & risk management’ in a broad understanding of ‘security’ encompassing traditional security threats as much as new risks, including economic and societal challenges.
Many analysts as well as politicians address these challenges from a premise of transatlantic policy interdependence, often corresponding to a plea and hope for policy coordination and cooperation across the Atlantic when it comes to tackle these challenges. After the often dramatic crisis in transatlantic relations during the Bush years, we have witnessed constructive changes with the Obama administration. Against this backdrop, the central research interest and questions guiding this seminar is: Has this indeed resulted in closer cooperation and more effective policies in the various issue areas and what are the prospects for mutually cooperative engagement?
Thus, the analytical focus of this seminar is directed toward three interrelated aspects of the new political and security agenda and the transatlantic partners’ attempts to cope with these challenges:
1) How do political actors on both sides define the problems, the adequate strategies and instruments for addressing these security risks? 2) How is this agenda institutionalized and which forms of governance are enfolding? 3) What kind of implications do the answers to the previous question have for a) the practice and prospects of transatlantic cooperation and b) for problem solving, i. e. for the effectiveness or success of transatlantic risk management policies?