McCormick, John. (2005) The European Superpower. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 8, April 2005. [Working Paper]
[From the introduction]. This paper is an attempt to interpret the meaning of recent changes in the transatlantic relationship, tying them to the ongoing debates about global power. It offers three cross-cutting sets of arguments: • First, we need to move beyond the cold war association of “superpower” with military power alone, and we must bring economic, social, political and diplomatic factors into the equation. Once this is done, it becomes clear that the idea of American hegemony, and of a unipolar international system, is open to question. • Second, critical changes have taken place in the international system that have bolstered the relative power and significance of the EU. The most critical of these has been the decline of American leadership and influence. Most tellingly, there is reason to question the much-vaunted military dominance of the United States. The US has the training and the technology to achieve its objectives quickly, but its political leaders often find themselves unable to win the peace. Vietnam and Iraq have clearly shown that overwhelming military force cannot always defeat determined opposition. More broadly, US credibility is declining because the American values and priorities are increasingly at odds with those in much of the rest of the world. The United States has become something of a rogue state. • Finally, there have been developments internal to the EU. With the single market program all but complete, the EU has expanded to take in 25 member states and a population of more than 450 million, making it the biggest capitalist market in the world. Most of its wealthiest members have adopted a single currency that has taken its place alongside the US dollar as one of the world’s two most important international currencies; the EU has vigorously pursued a common commercial policy that has made it an equal of the United States in international trade negotiations; its economy is almost as big as that of the United States and it accounts for nearly one-third of world trade; and it has adopted common policies in a wide variety of areas, and most notably has made progress on the development of the all-important common foreign and security policy.
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