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Obama, US Politics, and Transatlantic Relations

Change or Continuity?

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Giles Scott-Smith

In November 2008 Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States after a campaign that promised change and renewal. Many in the United States – and Europe – hoped for a new beginning. But what has been achieved?
The nineteen essays in this book provide a timely assessment of the ‘Obama Effect’ in transatlantic relations during the first years of his administration. Ranging from Obama’s importance within US domestic politics to his impact on specific policy areas (national security, international law, the environment) and regions (Middle East, South Asia), the book combines perspectives from the United States and across the European continent to present a unique multi-layered assessment of Obama’s political influence and the current state of play within US-European relations.

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Preface .................................................................................................. 11 Giles Scott-Smith Abbreviations ....................................................................................... 13 Introduction ......................................................................................... 17 Giles Scott-Smith PART I. US DOMESTIC POLITICS Barack Hussein Obama. His Powers of Language, His Language of Power ............................ 23 Rob Kroes From Marginal to Mainstream. Barack Hussein Obama and the Enigma of American Identity ...... 39 Dennis Hickey Obama the Green? A Transatlantic Environmentalist Perspective ................................. 53 Marcel Wissenburg PART II. US FOREIGN POLICY AND SECURITY The View from NATO ......................................................................... 69 Jamie Shea The Decline of the West? Transatlantic Relations in the Obama Era ....................................... 77 Thomas W. Gijswijt An Analysis of the Future. Defence Planning and Transatlantic Relations ................................. 87 Ruud Janssens Competitors or Partners? The United States and Europe in the Middle East ......................... 101 Marianne van Leeuwen 8 A Long Way Down. European Expectations, Domestic Barriers and the “Obama Effect” in International Climate Change Policy .......................................... 117 Moritz Baumgärtel PART III. VIEWS FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE The “Obama Effect” and the Possibility of Strategic Commonality between the US, Europe and Russia ........................ 135 Anna Zakharchenko From Great Atlanticists to Great Europeans? The Impact of Obama’s Foreign Policy on Central Europe .......... 153 Katarzyna Pisarska Pressing the Reset Button on US-Hungary Relations .................... 169 László Marácz PART IV. VIEWS FROM WESTERN EUROPE The End of a Special Relationship. Why There Was No “Obama Effect” in Dutch Afghanistan Policy, 2009-2010 .......................................... 185 Ruud van Dijk Bound by Silver Cords. The Dutch Intelligence Community in a Transatlantic Context ................................................................ 201 Beatrice de Graaf & Constant Hijzen France, “Obamania”, and the Issue of Race ................................... 219 Manuella Glaziou Tavares Race, Empire, and...

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