Transatlantic relations have been a key feature of international relations since the end of the second world war, forming the very core of what is often referred to as the International Liberal Order. In light of a changing US foreign policy orientation, multiple EU crises and a more volatile international environment, scholars and observers increasingly question the strength of this relationship. TransAt investigates if, and if so how and why EU-US foreign policy relations are affected by these changes. We conduct comparative analyses across cases in the two main thematic areas of the transatlantic relationship: EU-US security and defence relations and EU-US relations in multilateral institutions. Cases include EU-US security relations in space, in Africa and the Mena region, and in dealings with Russia and China in the Arctic. We also explore developments in naval burden sharing between the US and the European states in the North Atlantic. In exploring EU-US relations in international organizations, we study their economic relations in the WTO and the IMF, EU-US interactions and cooperation within the NATO structure and EU-US relations in climate-negotiations. Transat contributes to new knowledge of transatlantic relations and the EU's foreign and security policy cooperation. Analytically, we contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms affecting EU-US relations and EU foreign policy developments more broadly. Findings from the project are discussed in peer-reviewed academic journals and books, including a Special Issue in Politics and Governance (open access), at seminars, conferences and workshops. We also discuss findings in various media, in forums and informal forums with relevant stakeholders. Analytical frameworks, hypotheses and findings are also discussed in teaching at Innlandet University (approx. 250 students per year), and at our partner institutions in Norway, the US and at KU Leuven. We have also recruited two master's theses for the project, focusing on implications for Norway. A phd student at INN collaborates closely with the project
Impact and outcomes:
Our Transat outcomes have had an impact across four dimensions:
First, we have taken the academic empirical and analytical debates on transatlantic relations and EU foreign and security policies forward. Empirically, we have added important and ever more relevant new knowledge of the characteristics of contemporary EU-US foreign relations. Analytically, we have developed and applied analytical frameworks that allow us to understand not only the characteristics of the relationship but also the factors affecting its strength, allowing for more generalisable findings than would otherwise have been the case. This also achieves our objective of developing analytical frameworks of relevance for future studies of transatlantic relations. We have also added new empirical knowledge of EU foreign and security policy (CFSP) cooperation, and a better analytical understanding on the driving forces and mechanisms underlying CFSP developments. This knowledge has been presented in various publications and at academic conferences and workshops. Second, we have contributed to knowledge-based decision-making by regularly sharing and discussing our findings with relevant stakeholder. Third, we have added to public knowledge and contributed to the public debate through media appearances, op-eds, public seminars and teaching. Forth, through Transat, we have established strong both national and international interdisciplinary research communities and networks specialised on transatlantic relations that will continue their cooperation also after the project period.
The core feature of transatlantic relations, the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), is changing in light of the multiple crises potentially challenging EU unity and the reorientation of US foreign policies. TransAt will investigate and seek to understand if and how EU-US foreign policy relations are affected by EU crises, US foreign policy changes and a more volatile geopolitical environment by applying a common framework in addressing the following empirical questions:
1) Is the EU unifying or becoming more fragmented vis a vis the US in response to these factors?
2) To what extent are EU-US relations strengthening or weakening in various fields?
3) How can the observed patterns of EU-US relations be explained?
TransAt's core-team and international expert partners will conduct qualitative, comparative analyses across a broad range of carefully selected cases in the two key thematic areas of EU-US foreign policy relations: EU-US security relations and EU-US relations within multilateral frameworks. Cases in the first include EU-US security relations in dealings with Russia and China over territorial disputes and on security issues in Africa and the Mena region. We also explore developments in naval burden sharing between the US and European states in the North Atlantic. In the second thematic area, we analyse EU and US interactions within multilateral settings, exploring EU and US perspectives on UN reform, discussions on new regulations within the International Monetary Fund framework, EU-US interactions and cooperation within the NATO structure, and EU-US relations on issues of the future regulation of the Arctic region. The project will add new empirical knowledge on EU-US security relations and EU foreign and security policy (CFSP) cooperation. We also add important analytical insights into the driving forces and mechanisms underlying EU-US relations and CFSP developments.