Onglets principaux

SCOTT-SMITH Giles - The United States in the EU's Neighbourhood (8h)

This Compact Seminar, held over four sessions, involves the examination of US foreign policy and how it applies to key states and regions in the European neighbourhood. The course takes a historical view, enabling an understanding of current policies within a longer-term interpretive framework. It also explores the American use of cultural diplomacy in order to establish stronger ties with nations around the world, and in particular those in the wider Middle East region.

The transatlantic relationship in general, and in recent decades the relationship between the US and the EU in particular, has been at the central for United States foreign policy interests since at least WW II. Together, the US-European security alliance in NATO and the coordination of common interests within international organisations shaped the structure of global governance through the second half of the 20th century. Alongside this core relationship, the United States has pursued specific foreign policy interests in the EU neighbourhood. In general, these have sought to stabilize the wider region in terms of security, develop close partnerships in terms of economic development, and ensure the inclusion of key states within the systems of global trade, investment, and systems of governance. However, as a global power, US interests in these cases have not always coincided with the more regional perspective taken by European towards its neighbours.

To explore these dynamics in more detail, the course begins with an overview of the main explanatory models for investigating US foreign policy. It then focuses on a set of relations across the Middle East region: Turkey, Israel, and Iran. It will ask what issues and interests have guided US policies towards these three, and what the consequences of these paths have been over the longer term. It will also explore the use of cultural diplomacy – in particular, ‘hip hop diplomacy’ – for establishing social ties across difficult political borders.

Overall, the course investigates the interests weighted and the choices made in the processes of formulating US foreign policy towards a key set of relations that are rarely considered yet strategically crucial. It will explore the limits to US power to shape those relations, exploring ‘the power of the weak’ to challenge and sometimes override US interests in ways that are difficult to overcome. The course encourages critical thinking, requiring students to have broad interests and a willingness to discuss and debate the importance of ongoing global trends and developments. // ECTS Card

Professor: Giles SCOTT-SMITH