This course addresses the main themes, issues, and controversies in US policy in Western Europe during the period known as the American Century, from the Second World War to the present. The course will provide students with an understanding of how American governments have viewed their role in Western Europe during this period, the institutions and practices –both overt and covert- that they have developed to secure that role, and the responses that such policies have received from European governments. Students will explore the political ties between the United States and Europe, with a specific focus on Spain, and will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches and scholarly debates in this field.
After a brief introduction to US relations with Europe pre-Second World war, the course will focus on topics including the Spanish Civil War and General Franco’s Dictatorship, the rise of the US as an hegemonic power after 1945, the dynamics of the Cold War in Europe, the relationship between the US and the main European powers (France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy) and the role of the US in Europe after 9/11.
In addition to analyzing the design and execution of US policies in Europe, we will examine how US cultural diplomacy has contributed to the establishment of American cultural values and patterns in Europe. The course will also offer insight into the present status and future perspectives of US-European relations.