Coherence at Last? Transatlantic Cooperation in Response to the Geostrategic Challenge of China

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Coherence at Last? Transatlantic Cooperation in Response to the Geostrategic Challenge of China


  • Kolja Raube Leuven European and International Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium / Centre for European Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium / Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Raquel Vega Rubio Leuven European and International Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium / Centre for European Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium


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Abstract:  In light of the larger contextual picture of increased geostrategic rivalry with China, this article focuses on the question whether transatlantic cooperation responses towards the geostrategic challenge of China can possibly be coherent at all. How can we explain coherent actions (or lack thereof) between actors across the Atlantic in their foreign policy towards China? The central idea then is to explain transatlantic cooperation responses to the geostrategic challenge of China from a coherence angle, providing us with a perspective by which we can understand why actors on both sides of the Atlantic invest in policy coherence, or rather not. We argue that this coherence angle on transatlantic relations is particularly promising as it combines a focus on actors and structural dimensions that is able to offer explanations by whom, where, and why policy coherence is achieved. By looking into two different cases, the so-called concerted sanctions case and the AUKUS case, we find both, transatlantic coherence and incoherence, respectively, in response to the strategic challenge of China. Overall, this article has important policy implications, as it can point to the underlying factors in transatlantic policy-making that push or obstruct coherence.

Keywords:  coherence; cooperation; EU; incoherence; security; transatlantic; US; values

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v10i2.5022


© Kolja Raube, Raquel Vega Rubio. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.