the broken umbrella

Security Cooperation Europe & the United States

webinar on 3 February 2021

This webinar with Stephen G. Brooks (Dartmouth), Sven Biscop (Egmont Royal Institute) and Tom Sauer (University of Antwerp) analyses of EU-U.S. relations in the light of the recent presidential elections in the United States.

Stephen G. Brooks, Professor of Government at Dartmouth, focuses on Europe’s role in the U.S. Grand Strategy Debate and investigates whether strong transatlantic security ties may be restored.

Sven Biscop, Director of the ‘Europe in the World Programme’ at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels and Professor at the Ghent Institute for International Studies (GIIS) at Ghent University, presents a response.

Tom Sauer, Professor at the Research Group International Politics of the University of Antwerp, will moderate the debate. 

The end of the Cold War did not lead in the immediate post-Cold War period to fundamental changes in the U.S.-centred alliance systems in either Europe or the Asia-Pacific region. Despite concerns about a possible reduction in America’s defence commitments in the wake of the disappearance of the shared Soviet threat, throughout the 1990s and until the mid-2000s European states made minimal efforts to diversify their security dependence on the United States. In the Asia-Pacific region, strategic uncertainties associated with a rising China and the related absence of collective security mechanisms ensured the continuity of the U.S.-led bilateral alliances, also known as the “hub-and-spoke” security system.

Regional fears of possible U.S. disengagement in the post-Cold War era were initially about Washington’s political willingness. However, America’s relative decline has gradually turned the question into that of U.S. ability to sustain its security commitments, as well as a matter of alliance burden-sharing. The perceived Russia threat, especially in the Eastern part of Europe, and the perceived China threat, notably in Asia’s maritime domain, have raised European and Asian “abandonment” concerns, respectively.

This webinar introduces the topic of the postponed international workshop The Broken Umbrella: Shifting Security Architecture in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, starting from an analysis of the EU-U.S. relations in the light of the recent presidential elections in the United States. A second webinar with focus on the relation with the Asia-Pacific region will be scheduled in spring, while the workshop itself has been rescheduled for 21-22 October 2021.


Koningstraat 2
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel. +32 (0)3 265 49 60

Voorlopige locatie tijdens de renovatiewerken:
Blindestraat 14, 2000 Antwerpen