The key factors of european caution towards american interventionism

Dmytro Lakishyk

Ph. D. (History), senior transatlantic fellow of the Institute of World History NASU

UDС 327(4:73)


The collapse of the bipolar system of international relations had led to significant changes in the interdependence paradigm, which had been an essential principle of the era of globalization. The United States had begun to act from a position of dominance in the international arena. As a consequence, there had been growing European anxiety about US international political adventures, and specifically, their potentially adverse impact on the bi- and multilateral transatlantic relations.

During the Cold War period various actions of the American interventionism had generally taken into account the European allies’ positions. In the years leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union the dominant principle of political interdependence between the US and the European countries had seen practical implementation. However, the US foreign policy in the post-bipolar era does not appear to be bound by such a commitment. Coinciding with the period of presidency of R. Reagan, this geopolitical shift in power had conditioned notable changes in the content of the American interventionism. Gradually acquiring signs of independent decision-making and actions, the US international policy changes have been formalized as Reagan Doctrine.

The interventionist zeal in Reagan’s plans and actions was perceived in Europe as one regressing America, and perhaps the whole world, to the militarist historical past of mankind; at the beginning of the XXI century, something similar occurred in the European assessment of the foreign policy of the 43rd US president George Bush. In order to deepen our understanding of caution among European societies and politicians towards American interventionism, this article 55 examines the emergence of the Reagan Doctrine and the evolution of its key aspects in the post-bipolar era.


USA, Europe, the Soviet Union, the Cold War, interventionism, foreign policy, Reagan Doctrine.

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