The dynamics of transatlantic relations in the twenty-first century have been shaped by an American preference for the exercise of its considerable 'hard power' capabilities while Europeans have preferred to draw upon the considerable 'soft power' resources that have grown from their enviable internal processes of integration. These diverging power preferences have differential impacts on the management of Atlantic security, economic, and social and cultural relations. The contributors, long-time observers and analysts of the Atlantic partnership, debate how problematic security relations are likely to continue to be, discuss how successfully economic affairs will be managed, and examine the continuing frictions in domestic politics of social and cultural matters that should be manageable if both European and American leaders work actively and responsibly to encourage policy convergence.
'This is one of the best of the many new volumes assessing the fate of the Atlantic Alliance in the wake of the wrenching crisis generated by the launch of the Iraq War in 2003. It is well organized, comprehensive in scope, and features a variety of illuminating perspectives from first-rate contributors based on both sides of the Atlantic. As the editor and other contributors make clear, the durability of the alliance can only be understood if one recognizes that recurrent tensions in the security sphere often overshadow stable economic relations and policy convergence on some crucial issues.' John T.S. Keeler, University of Washington, Seattle, USA 'Ilgen's new collection raises the provocative question whether European "soft power" will ultimately surpass American "hard power". His answer should interest and possibly alarm US observers.' Richard Rosecrance, Harvard University, USA '…the appearance of this book could not be more timely…The result is a balanced appraisal of a complex relationship, with some authors predicting convergence while others proffer more pessimistic views…It is credit to the editor's vision and guidance that the collection coheres very well, maintaining its strong focus throughout.' Political Studies Review