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The EU and the Political Economy of Transatlantic Relations


Edited By Finn Laursen

Transatlantic economic relations remain extremely important for the European Union as well as for other countries in the world. When it comes to trade and foreign direct investment, the EU and the United States remain arguably the world’s most powerful actors, despite the financial crisis which started in the United States in 2007 and subsequently spread to Europe and to the Eurozone in particular. This crisis has created great economic strain on both Europe and North America, with politicians trying to muddle through and disagreeing on which strategy to adopt. The dominance of the Atlantic countries in the global political economy is now challenged by new emerging powers, including the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). These countries have succeeded in keeping much higher growth rates than Europe and North America, although they too are now affected by the global economic crisis.
This book is focused on these issues as well as other issues in transatlantic relations, including competition and environment policy. Given the complex interdependence of transatlantic countries they need to work together to solve the issues that divide them.


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PART I INTRODUCTION 19 The EU and Transatlantic Economic Relations Interdependence and Shifting Regime Constellations Finn LAURSEN Introduction This book is focusing on transatlantic economic relations. These re- lations form an important part of the external relations of the European Union (EU). They include trade, money and finance, foreign direct investments (FDI), competition policy, and other economic relations, but they largely exclude security-related relations, even if security relations can affect economic relations in various ways. Some would argue that security relations form a certain space within which economic relations can develop. If security relations are benign, economic rela- tions can prosper. In the title of this book I have used the term “political economy”. This indicates that we are at the intersection of politics and economics, where states and markets interact. There is an academic tradition of studying International Political Economy (IPE), now some- times called Global Political Economy (GPE) to indicate that it is also transnational, involving more actors than states (Gilpin 1987; Strange 1988; Laursen 1995; Gilpin 2001; Laursen 2009; Walter and Sen 2009; and Verdun 2011). Authority and exchange would be two other con- cepts that could indicate what kind of relationships we are interested in. In the North Atlantic area, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been a central organization in the area of security, but there has been no comparable organization in the economic area. True, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was estab- lished in 1948. At the beginning, it had 18...

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