Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 41–61 | Cite as

An institutional approach to foreign policy-making: the EU, the USA and crisis management in Africa

  • Daniela SicurelliEmail author
  • Sergio Fabbrini


Since the end of the cold war, the USA and the European Union (EU) have developed different foreign and security policies towards Africa. The USA has prioritised the fight against terrorism, while the EU’s foreign policy has been primarily driven by the goal of structural stability. The difference between the two approaches can be partially explained by pointing to the different power resources of the two actors. Nevertheless, these structural differences have not prevented variations in how the two actors have redefined their foreign policy approaches over time and opted for alternative policy instruments. Comparison between the US and EU interventions in Sudan and Somalia shows that domestic factors account for the differences and variations in their respective foreign policy frameworks. This article argues that these differences and variations make the distinction between a ‘military America’ and a ‘civilian power Europe’ more nuanced than depicted by the mainstream literature on transatlantic relations.


USA European Union foreign policy-making conflict management Africa 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  2. 2.School of GovernmentRomeItaly

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