The US and Europe: Coming to Terms with Change

The Institute for Human Sciences was founded in November 2001, in the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, during a time of growing tensions between the United States and Europe, with the goal of increasing understanding across the Atlantic. A year later, in November 2002, we launched a lecture series, on the transatlantic relationship, that continues to this day.

In today’s podcast, we bring you the inaugural lecture in that series, given on November 6, 2002, prior to the war in Iraq, entitled “The US and Europe: Coming to Terms with Change.” Our speaker is James Hoge, Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Affairs, and a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors. Responding to James Hoge is David Fromkin, University Professor and Professor of International Relations at Boston University.

While our intent is to keep the EU for You podcast current, we have wanted to revisit a less auspicious moment in the transatlantic relationship, to give our listeners a sense of how far we have come. It was in the summer of 2002, that Robert Kagan’s essay “Power and Weakness,” announcing that “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus,” made such a splash, particularly among neoconservatives. While tensions across the Atlantic have largely abated, the need for understanding and knowledge has not, and the goal of the EU for You podcast is to actively explore the political and cultural differences between the United States and Europe, with the aim of increasing understanding across international borders.

James Hoge describes the frayed relationship between the US and Europe in the aftermath of September 11, but argues – convincingly – that our differences are not unbridgeable and need not signal a parting of the ways.

This lecture was aired on WBUR, New England’s largest public radio station on November 24, 2002; we are grateful to WBUR for making the recording available to EU for You.

James Hoge brings 30 years in journalism to his role as editor of Foreign Affairs. In the 1960s, he was a Washington correspondent covering Congress, national politics, and international assignments. In the ’70s and ’80s, he was editor and publisher of newspapers in Chicago and New York, winning a total of seven Pulitzer Prizes under his direction. For the inaugural lecture of the Institute for Human Science, Hoge chose the topic of the changing nature of the relationship between the U.S. and the nations of Europe.

David Fromkin is director of the Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future at Boston University, University Professor, and Professor of History, International Relations, and Law. He is the author of six books including A Peace To End All Peace and The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century.

Links:

Columbia Journalism Review Podcast: Delacorte Lecture with Foreign Affairs’s Jim Hoge

“Power and Weakness” by Robert Kagan

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