Leadership or Partnership? Can Transatlantic Leadership be Shared?

William Wallace

in Just Another Major Crisis?

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552030
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720291 | DOI:
Leadership or Partnership? Can Transatlantic Leadership be Shared?

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This chapter discusses America's leadership of the Atlantic alliance. When the the United States perceived itself as weak, it pursued a policy of isolationism vis-à-vis Western Europe. When it became predominant after the Second World War, it led as a matter of course. Once the countries of Western Europe had rebuilt their economies after the war, they expected to play a larger role. Washington was prepared to move “from sponsorship to partnership.” However, the obvious assumption was still that “partnership would not challenge US leadership.” With the strengthening of the EU, the question arose of how balanced the relationship could indeed become. The jury is still out on the possibility of a truly balanced relationship. The chapter's conclusion is that “security leadership cannot be shared; but economic partnership is an everyday reality.”

Keywords: leadership; partnership; United States; Europe; economies; security

Chapter.  10004 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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