Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Beyond Paradise and Power, ed. by Tod Lindberg

A year or so ago, Robert Kagan published a slim, elegant essay called Of Paradise and Power, an analysis of relations between Europe and the United States. It was based on a June 2002 essay in the Hoover Institution journal Policy Review, titled "Power and Weakness" (read it here). The article and book became best-sellers on both sides of the Atlantic, widely translated and the topic of many critiques, comments, and responses. The editor of Policy Review, Tod Lindberg, who originally commissed Kagan's essay, has just published an edited volume of essays commenting on Kagan's work, called Beyond Paradise and Power: Europe, America and the Future of a Troubled Partnership (Routledge 2004). The lofty cross-Atlantic ontributors include (in no particular order) Walter Russell Mead, Timothy Garton Ash, Ivo Daalder, Kalypso Nicolaidis, Anne Applebaum, Peter Berkowitz, Gilles Andreani, Steven Erlanger, Wolfgang Ischinger, Simon Serfaty, and Francis Fukuyama.

The collection of essays deserves wide reading - they are wonderfully sophisticated and remarkably blunt, without ever losing sight of the value of the Atlantic bond and the shared values that underlie it.

The issue that has since come to the fore since these essays were written is the question of an Islamacizing Europe, and what that means for both Europe and the United States. I will comment later on this. Meanwhile, everyone should consult this book as the latest advance in the discussion over the Atlantic relationship.

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