A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF US-EUROPEAN UNION POLICIES TOWARDS THE MIDDLE EASTERN, BALKANS AND SOUTH ASIAN CRISES (1990-2002)
Author(s)SHAISTA SHAHEEN ZAFAR, .
KeywordsG Geography (General)
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AbstractThe international strategic situation in the cold war period which began after 1945 was characterized by a bipolar power structure along the lines of the East-West rivalry. European politics-whether in the West bloc or in the East bloc-drew upon this major struggle between the superpowers. The member states of the European Community (EC) had very little space to define their own strategies for they were part of the western alliance led by the United States. Thus, European policies reflected the superpower rivalry in the ideological and geo strategic realms. The European Community acted within this strategic and ideological framework, which was mainly structured by the EC (now EU) countries' membership of NATO. After the end of the cold war, the bipolar international power structure has been replaced by a unipolar structure upheld by the United States as the self-appointed guardian of a "new world order" and leader of the "West" which dominants world affairs. As the "victor" in the global power struggle of the cold war, the US is convinced that it has especial rights and privileges in world affairs, even vis a vis its allies in Europe. The present global situation which favours the US as the only remaining superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union has marginalized Europe as just a regional power center with limited global reach as far as geo-politics is involved. In the economic realm, undoubtedly, it enjoys great clout. Multi-polarity with different power centers is yet to emerge. Though, China and the Russian Federation are increasingly assertive, Europe often displays its weakness. A multi-polar global structure may be a long time away if we take into consideration Europe's string of failures since 1989 to jointly address major international crises as they broke out in the Gulf in 1990-1991, on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the early nineties or in the Middle East at various intervals. In all these crises, it was the United States that eventually took the initiative and imposed its own solutions while the European Union dithered and was not even able to agree on the basic principles for solving these issues nor could it stand up against the overwhelming strength of the US in the military, logistic and communication realms. Yet Europe has a positive impact on world affairs. Its 'soft power' approach is in sharp contrast with the 'hard' approach of the US. Though, double standards often become apparent, the EU's emphasis on human rights, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and other moral values do exert a positive influence on international actors.
SHAISTA SHAHEEN ZAFAR, . (2015) A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF US-EUROPEAN UNION POLICIES TOWARDS THE MIDDLE EASTERN, BALKANS AND SOUTH ASIAN CRISES (1990-2002). Doctoral thesis, UNIVERSITY OF KARACHI.