Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century | Wilson Center
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Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century

Neither the U.S. nor Europe can afford to believe that the oft-heralded "rise of the Rest" in the 21st century must necessarily erode transatlantic relations. Current grand strategic shifts rather afford a precious opportunity to parse through the archaic vs. stubbornly indispensable facets of U.S.-European relations: and indeed to mitigate the excessive narrative of a "hegemonic transition" away from the West. Erwan Lagadec's book Transatlantic Relations in the 21st Century explores both dynamics by assessing disaggregated components of the transatlantic relationship and the "rise of the BRICs": including normative culture, threat definition, high & low politics, hard & soft power, and the balance of power among international organizations.

Joining Lagadec in this discussion will be Karen Donfried of the National Intelligence Council and Samuel Wells of the Wilson Center.

Erwan Lagadec is a former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar and Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University. He teaches transatlantic relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, George Washington University, and Tulane University. He also is a reserve officer in the French Navy. He received his PhD in history from the University of Oxford.

Karen Donfried is the National Intelligence Officer for Europe of the National Intelligence Council. Previously she served as Vice President of the German Marshall Fund. She has been featured in many European and American news programs and has written extensively in her areas of expertise that include German foreign and defense policy, European integration, and transatlantic relations, the European Union, and NATO.

Samuel F. Wells has taught at Wellesley College, and for thirteen years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the Wilson Center he founded the International Security Studies Program in 1977 and directed that program until 1985. Since then he has served as Associate Director and Deputy Director of the Center while also serving as Director of West European Studies.


  • Erwan Lagadec

    Public Policy Scholar
  • Karen Donfried

    Europe Specialist, National Intelligence Council
  • Samuel Wells

    Cold War Fellow
    Former Deputy and Associate Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Director of the West European Studies Program, the Woodrow Wilson Center