Andreas Dür
Conflict Resolution in Transatlantic Economic Relations: What Can We Learn from the Early 1970s?

Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs, 2005: 8, pp. 57-68

Whereas in the early 1970s considerable conflict characterized transatlantic economic relations, still before the mid-1970s the two sides of the Atlantic managed to find satisfactory compromises on most issues. To explain this outcome, I argue that disputes in the economic realm among highly interdependent entities tend to mobilize countervailing forces. Fearing losses, these forces push for a resolution of controversial issues before they can set off a genuine crisis. After applying this argument to the case of the 1970s, I suggest that a similar mechanism may help the European Union and the United States find compromises on disputed issues in the early twenty-first century as well.