TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS IN A POSTMODERN WORLD
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- Anton Speekenbrink
More About This Title TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS IN A POSTMODERN WORLD
The fall of the Berlin Wall was a pivotal moment deeply impacting the post-World War II order, with American nuclear might standing sentinel for the preservation of the liberal democratic values of the trans-Atlantic community. The end of the ideological struggle freed the forces shaping the postmodern world. The end of the security trade-off, American nuclear protection against critical but loyal European support, meant that a new partnership based on equality, mutual respect, and legitimate self-interest was needed and that stability and peace on the Eurasian landmass was the overriding goal. Neither the United States nor Europe, the two constituent communities of the Western world, grasped the opportunity to bring about the needed change. Both remained prisoners of their past instead of innovators of the common future. American exceptionalism and Russophobia was the maze that entrapped the first; introvert preoccupation and divisiveness of purpose lamed the other. The book traces the formative forces of the geopolitical environment during the Cold War and the decades beyond and places these in the context of the emerging postmodern world order: where regional and global project-driven functional cooperation is gradually replacing the Westphalian state, where the provision of physical security and the material well-being for the individual replaces ideology as the driving force for political action, and where the rule of law prevails over the rule of power. The penultimate section enumerates some of the most significant issues facing the trans-Atlantic partnership and formulates policy suggestions on how to deal with them. Acknowledging the significant differences within the partnership, the two main themes are: first, that these differences are more tactical than fundamental and can and must be overcome; and second, that the partnership is essential for the preservation of the values and beliefs of Western civilization.