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Unformatted text preview: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations Vol.3, No.4, Winter 2004 1 Europe, the Muslim Mediterranean and the End of the Era of Global Confrontation Arno Tausch* 1) Europe is the loser from the present confrontation and European hegemonic rivalry with the US will increase This article starts from the assumption that both Europe and the Muslim world are facing the same tendency of a basic and underlying shift in global economic activity away from the West of the Euro/Asian/African landmass towards the countries of the Pacific, and that the United States Governments main interest today is in preserving and intensifying the US Government global hegemony after the end of the Cold War, and to maximize access to global wealth and energy resources in a world that looks more and more like the late 19 th Century. The conditions of this political economy of the 21 st Century were spelled out by the world system theory school of thought in the social sciences, pioneered by such scholars as Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, Volker Bornschier, Christopher K. Chase-Dunn, Andre Gunder Frank, and Immanuel Wallerstein. Chances to arrive at an alternative world order one that is based on strengthened United Nations, on global cooperation, and global civilizational dialogue, were lost in the decade after the end of the Cold War. The positioning in the global power game, and nothing else, was the reason for this Iraq war, and forget all about the fight against WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and all the other holy principles. Americas long term agenda under Bush, the argument runs, is not just interested in establishing its vision in the Near East, but in the end is interested in blocking European peaceful ascent to global leadership as envisioned by the European Unions Lisbon agenda until 2000 at the same time. As it is well-known, at the Lisbon European Council (March 2000), the European Union set itself a new strategic goal for the next decade: to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The rift between Europe and America especially between France, Germany and Russia on the one hand and the US on the other hand, has a very basic political economic background the growing hegemonic rivalry between the worlds leading capitalist blocs, that characterize world capitalism since 1450. An EU comprising up to 40 nations of the third and fourth enlargement wave indeed would be a major change in the structure of the international system and could be driven by Americas power play, but also by its own internal deficient dynamics, characterized by low innovation and high government spending, into such a position. Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations Vol.3, No.4, Winter 2004 2 A large, wider Europe, driven into hegemonic rivalry by the present hyperpower play by the United States - is a somber scenario, it enjoys a high kind of probability, and it has dire world...
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