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Beyond the realist pale : European Community-United States security relations 1973-1991

Bronstone, Adam, 1969


Adam, 1969 Bronstone


Juliet Lodge

Nicholas J. Wheeler

Costas M. Constantinou


This thesis provides an indepth analysis of the 'agency-structure' and related 'level of analysis' debate(s) within International Relations Theory. This analysis will be conducted by examining the evolution of the European Community as a global actor through the prism of its transatlantic relationship with the United States over a twenty year period beginning in 1973 with the Yom Kippur War and ending with the post- Persian Gulf War Kurdish relief effort of 1991. The research will be based on existing secondary and primary sources as well as personal interviews. The thesis seeks to make a contribution to the existing literature on the transatlantic relationship as well as the theoretical debates concerning agency and structure. Three overall research questions are addressed: 1) The role of Agency as a variable to consider in the formulation of foreign policies and the conduct of international relations; 2) The ability for Realism to adequately incorporate the role of Agency within its theoretical framework, and with particular reference to the transatlantic relationship; 3) The validity of the existing and dominant (structural realist in orientation) literature concerning the transatlantic relationship given the possible inability of this literature to adequately incorporate Agency within its explanation of European Community-United States divergences. This thesis argues that the conventional wisdom as to why transatlantic differences occur with respect to a study of three security issues is insufficient for it fails to adequately account for the role of the Agent within the formulation of policy, and the differences that spring forward from these policies. A Realist approach to the European Community - United States relationship can explain, in part, divergences between the Western allies. However, it is concluded that this same Realist approach cannot adequately explain the role of Agency within these divergences and therefore fails to deliver a complete analysis of the reasons behind certain transatlantic disagreements over the past twenty years. While not pointing to a certain theoretical school of thought that can adequately account for the role of Agency in international relations, the thesis will attempt to point the reader in various directions in which further research on the role of Agency may be undertaken.


Bronstone, A. 1. (1995). Beyond the realist pale : European Community-United States security relations 1973-1991. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Politics
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Politics, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 1995


Thesis (9.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1995 Bronstone, Adam, 1969-. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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