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From "Tough Power" to "Smart Power": Biden's Policy Change toward Europe

September 15 , 2021 05:36 PM by ZHAO Chen

From "Tough Power" to "Smart Power"Biden's Policy Change toward Europe

[Author] ZHAO Chen

[Abstract] The Biden administration has attached great importance to European allies to enhance American national interests and maintain supremacy. Taking a starkly different approach, the Biden administration's policy toward Europe is characterized by "smart power".  With adjustments in bilateral trade with Europe, changing attitude toward international affairs and diplomatic rhetorics, the trans-Atlantic partnership is embracing a new "honeymoon". Biden's change is not only due to the "pro-Europe" preference of Democrats and his policy team, but also out of the concerns in confronting China and Russia. Despite the U.S. returning to allies with similar values and ideology, Europe remains hesitant to choose side between China and the U.S. out of consideration for its economic interests and stability of the region. Based on the analysis above, this paper argues against the "rules-based international order" repeatedly voiced by the Biden administration for binding its European allies and constraining China.

[Keyword] Trans-Atlantic Relations, "Rules-Based International Order", "Tough Power", "Smart Power"

[Source] Contemporary American Review, Vol.5, No.3, 2021, pp.20-36.