Danish Foreign Policy and the Balance between the EU and the US: The Choice between Brussels and Washington after 2001

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In the international debate it is often argued that Denmark in its major foreign policy priorities has sided with the USA since the Cold War rather than with the EU or its European partners. The article examines whether this is correct, and if it is, why this is so, since 2001. The paper also asks whether a different theoretical approach - namely, discourse analysis will lead to different findings than those of the dominant approaches. The article first presents different ways of explaining why a country chooses the balance that it does between the EU and the US. One particular approach, poststructuralist discourse analysis, is applied. The balance between the EU and the US in the dominant Danish discourse is analysed. The article then outlines the policy level and attempts to map where Danish policies are conducted with the EU and the US respectively. It is shown that the EU is the most important partner across foreign policy areas since 2001, in spite of ad hoc foreign policy cooperation with the US, and that this is due to a dominant discourse which articulates the EU as `our most important alliance´. However, the US is the most important partner on military security issues based on a discourse which articulates cooperation with the US as a central part of Danish foreign policy identity and an`offensive foreign policy´.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)209-230
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ID: 8856645