The Fourth Age

The Fourth Age

by Author(s): Charles A. Kupchan

Atlantic relations are still in a transitional phase; it is too soon to discern the defining features of the era that is emerging. Nonetheless, scholars and policymakers alike would be wise to acknowledge that the Atlantic order has already passed through a historical breakpoint and that the robust alliance of the past five decades is no more. Recognizing that reality and adjusting expectations accordingly offers the most promise for consolidating a new, even if more modest, Atlantic partnership.


1 This essay draws on the author's contribution to Jeffrey Anderson, G. John Ikenberry and Thomas Risse, eds., The End of the West: The Deep Sources of the Transatlantic Crisis, forthcoming.

2 Hamilton, Federalist 11, in James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, The Federalist Papers, Isaac Kramnick, ed. (London: Penguin Books, 1987), pp. 133.

3 Stephen Rock, Appeasement in International Politics (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000), pp. 32.

4 Thomas Friedman, "Our War with France", New York Times, September 18, 2003.

5 "America's Image Slips, But Allies Share U.S. Concerns Over Iran, Hamas", The Pew Global Attitudes Project, June 13, 2006. Available at:

Essay Types: Essay