The end of the cold war with the collapse of the Soviet Union enabled the emergence of the United States as a hegemonic power. At this time Realist Theories in International Relations predicted that a counterbalancing coalition should soon be organized. The European Union appeared as the most probable counter power, with France as leader of this coalition. However, other theories of international politics (Constructivist ones) suggested that such a dramatic change in European-American relations was unlikely because of shared values and beliefs between the two continents. But September 11 2001 attacks produced the most significant change in the U.S foreign policy since a generation and soon major shifts would appear, the quarrel over whether or not to wage a war in Iraq being the last and most important crisis between the ‘old trans-Atlantic partners'. The provocative statement I have chosen to quote in the beginning of my paper has been made by Robert Kagan in his article \"Power and Weakness\", first appeared in the June/July 2002 issue of Policy Review. In 2003, the author has quickly expanded and released it in a book form under the title \"Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order.\" Robert Kagan\'s essay claims to offer an analysis of the current malaise between Europe and the United States. His reasoning is based on the idea that the US is the “Power” maintaining its predominant position through a Hobbesian use of force, while Europe is living in a Kantian world in which its “Weakness” appeared through its inability to cope with the anarchical menaces of the global world, and its reluctances to try to. For this reason, Kagan even went as far as to say, “It is time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world”.
[...] The Cold War has been an ideological war, the Vietnam War ended because of military failures but also because of ever growing opinion movements, and the Vietnam Syndrome has effectively shaped the American Foreign Policy for years. Another reproach can be made to Kagan, the one of considering Europe as a consistent whole, whereas the Iraqi crisis has at the opposite revealed the difficulty to have one Foreign policy. The author also collapses very easily into the plainest stereotypes or even misinformation, tending to ignore the fact that some European countries as France still own a military arsenal. [...]
[...] - Howard, Dick. “Europe as a Political project”. Logos online. Spring 2004.12 /15/04 < http://www.logosjournal.com/howard_euro.htm - Kagan, Robert. “Power and Weakness'”, Policy Review, June/July 2002. 12/15/04 < http://www.policyreview.org/JUN02/kagan.html> - Nye, Joseph S. The Paradox of American Power: Why the Worlds Only Superpower Can't Go It Alone .Oxford University Press - Wiarld, Howard J.American Foreign Policy: Actors and processes. New York: Harper Collins,1996 - Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster Kagan, Robert. “Power and Weakness'”, Policy Review, June/July 2002. [...]
[...] http://www.policyreview.org/JUN02/kagan.html Wiarda, Howard J.American Foreign Policy: Actors and processes. New York: Harper Collins,1996, pp Howard, Dick. “Europe as a Political project”. Logos online. Spring 2004 http://www.logosjournal.com/howard_euro.htm Ibid. C.f., Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution. How a Revolution transformed a Monarchical Society into a Democratic one Unlike any that had Ever Existed (New York: Knopf, 1992) . Howard, Dick. “Europe as a Political project”. Logos online. Spring 2004 Ibid. Ibid. Wiarda, Howard J.American Foreign Policy: Actors and processes. pp.37 Ibid. [...]
[...] But rather, it reflects a more profound cleavage rooted in American power and European weakness. Kagan's thought is built on the divergences between two conceptions of the world which implies two different use of force, these two patterns being the one of Hobbes, and the Kantian. In the Hobbesian model “international laws and rules are unreliable” and “true security and the defence and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.” This diverges from the European vision of the realization of the Kantian ideal of “Perpetual Peace”, which implies self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. [...]
[...] Wiarda in his book American Foreign Policy: Actors and processes, pp “early history and the religious basis of many U.S. institutions help explain America's long time concern with doing good in the world, the sense that America is a special nation blessed by God, with an obligation to bring the benefits of [their] civilization to less- favoured lands.” The importance of moral construes the need to justify action accomplished for the ‘national interest', whatever it could be, with nobler purposes. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee