Transatlantic Relations

Stanley R. Sloan: Transatlantic Relations: A perfect storm across the Atlantic, AIES Fokus 1/2017



This essay focuses on the importance of the transatlantic relationship, the values that inform it, the institutions that operationalize it, and the role that the relationships, values and institutions play in defining what we call “the West.” It discusses the meaning of a “perfect storm” for transatlantic relations. This is an overworked concept, but it unfortunately well describes what has been going recently in Euro-Atlantic relations. The analysis concludes with a few comments about the future, a perspective that is informed by concern about the forces of illiberalism, and hope for energizing liberal democratic paths for our Western democracies. This analysis is based on the premise that the future of “the West” relies on maintaining a balance between power and values. Power without reference to values, and values not backed by power, are both dangerous for liberal democracy. Striking the right balance has never been easy, and it is no less complicated in today’s complex international environment, where external threats to the West interact ominously with internal challenges.

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