Kagan Robert, Power, Weakness, Paradise, unilateralism, multilateralism, International Security, World Order, geopolitics, relationship EU-USA, the Power Gap, Post-Modern World
In his book, Kagan presents a very interesting point of view. He shows that, whether Europeans or Americans want to accept it or not, everybody has to recognize objectively, that American and European interests are sharply diverging today and that the transatlantic relationship has changed after the end of the Cold War. Kagan thinks "Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus" and this is unfortunately not a transitory situation: it has actually been developing in both American and European geopolitics since the collapse of the USSR and September 11th has only made it more obvious for the international community. The major reason for this divergence is the power gap between the two sides of the Atlantic. America's "power " that is its military capability, is not comparable to the European one. With its technology, its weapons and military forces, its finance, the US are much more powerful than the European Union, which seems "weak" today.
[...] So Robert Kagan's Of Paradise and Power was published in January 2003. The book is in fact an extension of the author's article “Power and Weakness” which appeared in the Policy Review in June 2002. At the time when a long historical process that had slowly took apart America and Europe became prominent. In his book, Kagan presents a very interesting point of view. He shows that, whether Europeans or Americans want to accept it or not, everybody has to recognize objectively, that American and European interests are sharply diverging today and that the transatlantic relationship has changed after the end of the Cold War. [...]
[...] So this process historically paved the way for an idealistic vision of international relations. He adds that historically speaking, Europe must remember that the solve of the so-called “German Problem” required firstly the military destruction of its that enables Europe to settle a “New Order”. In such views, Europe may be considered as an Ivory Tower, but we may notice in fact to what extend the post-modern Paradise is a vision of international relations defended, proselytized by European Union. It means a global strategy. [...]
[...] Moreover, he added the practical consequences of this different approach. He concluded that the behavior of Europe results almost equally from inability and from lack of will to yield its influence. Firstly, he putted the stress on the fact that Europe suffers clearly from a trauma concerning “Machpolitik”, that gave them so much miseries, so to explained that the current dominant conceptions of Europeans of International Relations are a (maybe mental) rejection of the model of Balance of Power that shaped Europe from Westphalia to WWI. [...]
[...] This title is, of course, quite provocative; in fact Kagan does not consider the USA as warlike society. It is on the contrary a liberal society, a liberal society really attached on the one hand at a stable international order and conscious on the other hand that this the power, the might which could define the rule of the international community. This is the power which could establish a global stability; therefore the US society considers that the use of the strength is regularly necessary in a World which is rules by different principles and norms compared to a liberal society: this is the duality of US foreign policy. [...]
[...] Moreover, we may eventually add that the USA has no alternative to unilateralism with regards to the previous description of the American approach of international treats, because Europeans denied the use of force whereas the World may be considered as partly hobbesian. In such World, it means that the major power has to behave as a hobbesian actor. Finally, it cannot be denied that the policies America pursued after 09/11 are just illustrations of these historical and cultural conceptions, the USA did not change after 09/11, it only became more itself. [...]
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