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Three Scenarios for the Future of the Transatlantic Relationship


In a world of growing interconnectedness and shifting power balances, the transatlantic relationship has lost its bearings. Old transatlantic paradigms have run their course, and yet no credible alternative has emerged. To this end, three steps are necessary: first, identify the changes, at both systemic and actor level, that have contributed to transforming transatlantic relations; second, define a spectrum of possible outcomes involving three ideal typical scenarios: structural drift, functional relationship, and enduring partnership; and third, distinguish the factors that might drive the US-European relationship towards one of these scenarios. In so doing, the stage is set for re-conceptualizing 21st century transatlantic relations.

Paper produced within the framework of the IAI project Transworld. Revised and updated version publ. as: "Rethinking transatlantic relations in a multipolar era", in International Politics, Vol. 51, No. 3 (May 2014), p. 366-389.

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