A theoretical framework is needed to make sense of a new international order and the place of the transatlantic alliance in it. We focus on three variables: 1) rising multipolarity; 2) the future of multilateralism, and 3) the scope for transatlantic leadership. The authors argue that systemic theories of international relations are likely to fail to explain the behaviour of major powers that are focused inward on profound domestic challenges. The study of IR becomes increasingly the study of its parts: individual policies. The US and Europe have capacity to lead in many policy areas, but must focus on reforming multilateral institutions.
Paper produced within the framework of the IAI project Transworld.
1. What Does Multipolarity Mean?
2. Multilateralism in an Age of Multi-Problemarity
3. International Leadership: Transformation vs. Conservation
4. The West: Still Pals or just 'Poles'?