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  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: To what degree may the US be considered a normative power? The US foreign policy mainstream tends to reflect a varying blend of normative and hegemonic approaches. The US has been and continues to be simultaneously a guardian of international norms; a norm entrepreneur challenging prevailing norms as insufficient; a norm externaliser when it tries to advance norms for others that it is reluctant to apply to itself; and a norm blocker when it comes to issues that may threaten its position, or that exacerbate divisions among conflicting currents of American domestic thought. On balance (and despite exceptions), the US has sought to manage this normative-hegemonic interplay by accepting some limits on its power in exchange for greater legitimacy and acceptance of its leadership by others. The unresolved question today is whether the US and other key players are prepared to stick with this bargain. Closer examination of the US case also raises a considerable number of questions about the notion of the EU as a 'normative power'.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Law, International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of papers from a new project entitled “Who is a normative foreign policy actor? The European Union and its Global Partners”. The first paper – entitled Profiling Normative Foreign Policy: The European Union and its Global Partners, by Nathalie Tocci, CEPS Working Document No. 279, December 2007 – set out the conceptual framework for exploring this question. The present paper constitutes one of several case studies applying this framework to the behaviour of the European Union, whereas the others to follow concern China, India, Russia and the United States. A normative foreign policy is rigorously defined as one that is normative according to the goals set, the means employed and the results obtained. Each of these studies explores eight actual case examples of foreign policy behaviour, selected in order to illustrate four alternative paradigms of foreign policy behaviour – the normative, the realpolitik, the imperialistic and the status quo. For each of these four paradigms, there are two examples of EU foreign policy, one demonstrating intended consequences and the other, unintended effects. The fact that examples can be found that fit all of these different types shows the importance of 'conditioning factors', which relate to the internal interests and capabilities of the EU as a foreign policy actor as well as the external context in which other major actors may be at work.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Fabrizio Tassinari
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Since the end of the cold war until 2004, the United States and the European Union held largely complementary views towards the European neighbourhood. Washington's foreign policy mantra was that of a Europe 'whole and free', where the dividing lines inherited from the cold war were to dissolve through the gradual inclusion of Central and Eastern Europe in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations. The EU concomitantly focused on its enlargement strategy, which ensured that the transition of the former communist countries would be benchmarked and monitored, in order to attain the ultimate goal of their full integration into the EU.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The US international investment position today should in principle be equal to the sum of past current account balances (mostly deficits). However, this is by far not the case even taking into account the balancing item 'errors and omissions'. Between 1982 and 2004, the US has accumulated a grand total of around $4.5 trillion (thousand billion). (The sum of current account deficits has been about $1 trillion smaller than the amount of net sales of US assets to the rest of the world because of the anomaly in reinvested earning.) Despite this accumulation of deficits the US net international debtor position (IIP) has deteriorated 'only' by $2.7 billion (and is now estimated – at the end of 2004, end 2005 figures are not yet available for the US IIP – at 'only' around $2.5 trillion). This implies a total of 'unearned' gains to the US of around $1.8 trillion during 22 years. The quite detailed data available for a somewhat shorter period (1989-2004) show that only a very small part of this sum, around 10-20%, can be explained by exchange rate and stock market changes.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The income account of the US balance of payments has so far remained in surplus because of a very large differential in reported earnings on direct investment – US firms seem to enjoy a much higher rate of return than foreign firms in the US. There is little difference in terms of the rate of dividend payments; the difference is due to what is called 'reinvested earnings' (earnings minus dividends). Foreign firms report almost no reinvested earnings on their direct investment in the US whereas US firms report substantial reinvested earnings from their direct investment abroad, on average over $100 billion more p.a. than foreign firms report on their US investment. This anomaly is probably due to the desire of foreign firms to minimise their US taxes, whereas US firms do not face tax liabilities if they report high foreign profits to the US authorities. The procedure used to generate the data for reinvested earnings thus has a built-in bias to improve the US current account and – over time – its international investment position. The true picture is likely to be much worse.</p
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States