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3 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (1964-1965)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks3 and id is 1 raw text is: 




         THE CONCEPT OF ATLANTIC
                      COMMUNITY

                      By JAMES  RICHARDSON

                                 I
No  theme  in international relations is so conducive to the outpouring
of words, often very tenuously related to recognizable political fact,
as that of Atlantic community.  In recent years, indeed, it may have
outstripped the United Nations as a source of the rhetorical expression
of aspirations. In reaction against the stream of words, certain political
analysts-Stanley Hoffmann,   Henry  Kissinger, Hedley Bull'-have
questioned the foundations of the Atlantic claims, their critique tending
to reinforce equally astringent comments from the direction of Paris.
The  burden of the critique is that the notion of Atlantic community
lacks descriptive content, but serves the political function of rational-
izing American interests in relation to Europe.
  At a time when  European  economic recovery and integration pro-
vide a basis for independence from the United States, it is suggested,
America  proposes that the uniting of Europe  should be contained
within an Atlantic framework: while there should be 'partnership' in
economic  affairs between two equal powers, there should be a single
community   in military affairs, a single authority for the control of
nuclear weapons. The language of partnership thus cloaks an American
bid to  retain hegemony  in the North  Atlantic world,  through a
monopoly  of the crucial form of armed force: nuclear weapons. Even
worse, just as Britain allegedly sought to establish a Free Trade Area
in order to prevent the integration of the Six, so the United States is
charged with obstructing European developments  through the intro-
duction of Atlantic considerations. 'The only instance where the idea
of European  unity has yielded results-modest but real-is where it
was not in competition with the idea of American hegemony; whereas
it has failed to prosper wherever the ground was covered with Atlantic
vegetation.'2
  A  second strand of criticism bases itself on the distinction between
the European  Community   of the Six, where there exist institutions
and procedures for giving effect to common  interests as well as an
increasing sense of allegiance to the 'European idea', and the fictitious
'Western' or  'Atlantic' community,  lacking such institutions and
                                1

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