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Risse im Westen? Betrachtungen zum transatlantischen Verhältnis heute

Cracks in the West? Reflections on the transatlantic relationship today
  • Peter Mayer
  • Volker Rittberger
  • Fariborz Zelli
Publishing year: 2003
Language: German
Pages: 32-52
Publication/Series: Leviathan
Volume: 31
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article

Abstract english

The essay documents indications for cracks in the transatlantic relationship, identifies their potential causes, and outlines possible policy responses. Taking up Fukuyama’s question of whether the West “is still a coherent concept,” we draw attention to the growing dissension in the fields of environmental politics, security, and human rights. Subsequently, we offer preliminary explanations for these developments based on three leading schools of thought in International Relations. These explanations make reference to the distribution of power in the international system (realism), to divergent ideas about the nature and the locus of the democratic legitimization of politics (constructivism), and to the configuration of societal interests within states (liberalism). Finally, we come up with some ideas on how to mend the cracks that have appeared in the West, again drawing on the conceptual resources provided by the three schools of thought.


  • Political Science
  • transatlantic relations
  • Euopean Union
  • United States


  • ISSN: 0340-0425
Fariborz Zelli
E-mail: fariborz [dot] zelli [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Political Science

+46 46 222 47 64



Associate professor

Department of Political Science



Fariborz is director of the NAVIGOV project. He received the outstanding Ph.D. thesis award of the University of Tübingen and the award for outstanding teaching performance of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Ongoing research projects

Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5H (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences