Transatlantic Relations: Are Alliances a Function of An External Threat?   [open pdf - 599KB]

"This thesis considers a central question pertaining to the future of transatlantic relations between Europe and the United States: Will the presence, or absence, of an external threat to the countries involved be the deciding factor in their willingness to cooperate in security alliances? It is a significant question, and investigating it provides a better understanding of future uses of alliances and their role in world politics. Recently, two specific historical occurrences decisively modified the security landscape worldwide: the end of the Cold War 1991 and almost two decades of violent, deadly acts of international terrorism. Since the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which made former satellite states suddenly independent, numerous eastern European countries have applied for membership in NATO and the European Union. At the same time, organizations such as, especially, the EU and NATO, have had to deal with the competitive and often contradictory interests of member states. This thesis will focus with emphasis on France, Germany, and United States because the differences in their positions inside NATO are most significant."

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