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Mapping the Mind Gap: A Comparison of US and European Security Strategies

Berenskoetter, Felix (2005) 'Mapping the Mind Gap: A Comparison of US and European Security Strategies.' Security Dialogue, 36 (1). pp. 71-92.

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Abstract

This article analyses the state of the transatlantic security relationship by comparing two recent key documents: the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the EU’s European Security Strategy (ESS). Deploying Robert Kagan’s caricature of differing strategic cultures between Europeans and Americans as an analytical foil, it assesses both documents with regard to how they define (i) realms of responsibility, (ii) threat assessments and (iii) tasks and instruments necessary to address these threats. Despite semantic overlaps and a sense of common commitment, the findings confirm divergent strategic thinking between European and US policymakers in all three areas. Although some of the differences run along well-known fault lines, the comparison reveals a mind gap that is significantly different from the one outlined by Kagan in one crucial aspect: it shows a US agenda guided by utopian thinking, and a European strategy that appears more realistic

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISSN: 09670106
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1177/0967010605051925
Depositing User: Huei-Lan Liu
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2009 14:05
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/7680

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