Transatlantic Relations: Past, Present, and Future

May 7, 2018 @ 9:00 am – May 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Villa Schifanoia
Via Giovanni Boccaccio
121, 50133 Firenze FI
Matthias Kindel

This Executive Training Seminar examined the current state of transatlantic relations. The transatlantic alliance between the United States and its European partners has been essential for global peace, security, and stability since the end of World War II. But a number of developments are placing doubts on the centrality of the alliance on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. “rebalance” to Asia and the election of Donald Trump have raised questions about America’s commitment to European security. Transatlantic economic relations, including the future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also reveal differences between the United States and Europe. Bringing together academic specialists, policymakers, and think tank experts, this three-day seminar offered an in-depth overview of the scale and scope of issues currently facing the transatlantic alliance, and outlines possible measures that the United States and Europe could take to address these challenges. Topics included the future of U.S. grand strategy and its implications for Europe, EU initiatives to build independent security and defense capabilities, transatlantic relations and Russia, transatlantic economic relations, and transatlantic relations in the era of Donald Trump. Through presentations, case studies, and simulations, attendees had the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the complex set of issues currently facing transatlantic relations and the policy responses that will be needed to address these issues.


Final Programme



Speakers (in alphabetical order)


Stephen G. Brooks is Professor of Government at Dartmouth, and has previously held fellowships at Harvard and Princeton. He is the author of four books: Producing Security: Multinational Corporations, Globalization, and the Changing Calculus of Conflict (Princeton, 2005), World out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy (Princeton, 2008), with William Wohlforth, America Abroad: The United States’ Global Role in the 21st Century (Oxford, 2016), with William Wohlforth, and Political Economy of International Security (Princeton, forthcoming). He has published many articles in journals such as International Security, International Organization, Foreign Affairs, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Perspectives on Politics, and Security Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science with Distinction from Yale University, where his dissertation received the American Political Science Association’s Helen Dwight Reid Award for the best doctoral dissertation in international relations, law, and politics.

Ivan Krastev is the Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Crisis Group and is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. His latest books in English are After Europe (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), Democracy Disrupted: The Global Politics of Global Protest (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), and In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don’t Trust Our Leaders? (TED Books, 2013).

Barry Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, and serves on the Executive Committee of Seminar XXI ( His most recent book, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, was released in May 2014 (Cornell University Press 2014). He has written two earlier books, Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks (Cornell University Press 1991) and The Sources of Military Doctrine (Cornell University Press 1984 ). The latter won two awards: The American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson Foundation Book Award, and Ohio State University’s Edward J. Furniss Jr. Book Award. He is also the author of numerous articles, including “Civil Wars and the Structure of World Power,” Daedalus, Fall, 2017, “Pull Back: The Case for a Less Activist Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2013, and “Command of the Commons: The Military Foundation of U.S. Hegemony,” International Security, (Summer, 2003.) He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016 he was appointed Henry A. Kissinger Chair (visiting) in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress, John W. Kluge Center.  He is the 2017 recipient of the International Security Studies Section (ISSS), International Studies Association, Distinguished Scholar Award. He has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; Rockefeller Foundation International Affairs Fellow; Guest Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow, Smithsonian Institution; Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States; and a Visiting Fellow at the John Sloan Dickey Center at Dartmouth College. 

Jeremy Shapiro is Research Director at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Previously he was a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, where he edited the Foreign Policy program’s blog ‘Order from Chaos.’ Prior to Brookings, he was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Policy Planning staff, where he advised the Secretary of State on U.S. policy in North Africa and the Levant. He was also the senior advisor to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon, providing strategic guidance on a wide variety of U.S.-European foreign policy issues.

Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen, and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, on behalf of whom she wrote the European Global Strategy and is now working on its implementation, notably in the field of security and defence. Previously she held research positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy in Washington, and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in Florence. Her research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.