What does Neorealism Imply for Transatlantic Security Relations?

Anno LV, n. 227, gennaio-aprile 2020

Anno LV, n. 227, gennaio-aprile 2020
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


Ever since its establishment, neorealism has been regarded as one of the most influential approaches to international security relations and a benchmark for following theoretical paradigms. Yet, several neoliberal institutionalists and neoclassical realists have called into question the validity of neorealist predictions concerning transatlantic security relations, underlining the continued existence of NATO and the excessively overlooked salience of domestic variables on states’ foreign policy as inconsistencies of neorealism. In order to reply to these contradictions, this article addresses the question: “Which special contribute does neorealism give with its predictions and explanations to the subject of transatlantic (EU-US) security relations?”. By taking into consideration the evolution of NATO and EU-US relations, the article conducts a historical analysis of three main periods: the post-cold war era, the Bosnian, Kosovo and Iraq wars and finally the latest 21st century developments characterized by a further fragmentation of the international system and a re-nationalization of Europe. Through this analysis, the research ultimately assesses the special contribute the neorealist account provide to EU-US occurrences, highlights the credibility of its paradigm versus other international relations theories, and fulfils the gap of systematic knowledge around neorealism applicability to international relations developments. The findings of this analysis based on the post-cold war emergence of new actors within the international system, NATO’s revised approach and the widening rift between the two Continents show a faithful match between neorealist explanations and the historical path EU-US relations have undertaken, undermining the explanatory power of the critiques of other international relations theories’ narratives.