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Sharing the Transatlantic Burden: The End of an Era?


  • Hubert Zimmermann


The line taken by Germany in opposition to the United States over the Iraq war, which helped contribute to a crisis in the transatlantic relationship, has created many questions regarding Germany's new foreign policy and the current German-American relationship. German-American relations are moving from a relationship based on acceptance of American leadership towards one of collaboration among equal partners. This paper begins by assessing the causes and nature of this transformation in German-American relations. It then traces the nature of transatlantic cooperation during the Cold War era, focusing on the concept of burden-sharing, and finally analyzes the structural transformation of mutual relations during the 1990s that led to functionally similar roles for these two states within the international system. While this transformation could result in increasing alienation, it is more likely that a new form of collaboration based on equality, common institutions, and similar threat perceptions will develop.

Suggested Citation

  • Hubert Zimmermann, 2004. "Sharing the Transatlantic Burden: The End of an Era?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 23, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0139

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    Germany; NATO; international relations;

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