The United States and the European Integration: Pursuing the Strategy of Regional Hegemony
AbstractThe United States have been an important actor in the debate on the nature of the European integration process since the beginning of the process. Washington’s policy, however, has always seemed equivocal: on one hand it actively supported and encouraged the process, but on the other hand it tried to contain some specific European ambitions and steer the process in a desirable direction. The objective of this article is to offer a possible explanation of the long-term US policy towards the European integration process. In the first part, it presents the theoretical concept of the US „regional hegemony strategy“ and identifies four goals of the grand strategy within the limits of the concept. In the second part, it tests the validity of the concept on six historical case studies by confronting the intentions of the US policy in each case with the four identified strategic goals. The analysis shows that even though the focus of the American policy towards the European integration changes according to different historical context, the American policy follows the general tenets of the regional hegemony strategy.
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