© 2013

A Thorn in Transatlantic Relations

American and European Perceptions of Threat and Security

  • Authors

Table of contents

About this book


Americans and Europeans perceive threat differently. Americans remain more religious than Europeans and generally still believe their nation is providentially blessed. American security culture is relatively stable and includes the deeply held belief that existential threat in the world emanates from the work of evil-doers. The US must therefore sometimes intervene militarily against evil. The European Union (EU) security culture model differs from traditional European iterations and from the American variant. The concept of threat as evil lost salience as Western Europe became more secularist. Threats became problems to manage and resolve. The upsurge in anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiment in the midst of economic crisis undermines this model.


communism culture Europe European Union (EU) perception state terrorism

About the authors

Mary Hampton is the Associate Dean of Academics (DEA) at Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), Maxwell AFB.

Bibliographic information


"Professor Hampton has long been one of the most thoughtful and perceptive observers of America's security relations with Europe. In this wonderful book, Hampton provides a searching exploration of the cultural roots of Atlantic security cooperation and discord, focusing on divergent American and European historical experiences, ideological foundations, and secular-religious cultural identities. Along the way, Hampton offers a vivid and penetrating glimpse into the 'soul' that both unites and divides the West." - G. John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

"In this masterful book, Mary Hampton provides a fascinating account of how religious and secular worldviews underpin strategic culture in the United States and Europe. It will be difficult to view transatlantic relations in the same manner after reading this book."

Giacomo Chiozza, author of Anti-Americanism and the American World Order