Netherlands, Utrecht (Utrecht City Campus)

Europe and the US: Transatlantic Relations in the Modern Age

when 22 July 2013 - 2 August 2013
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 865

This course will examine the history and current dynamics of the transatlantic relations between Europe and the United States. What have been the foundations of the transatlantic relations within the bipolar world of the Cold War? How has the United States established itself as a disputed reference culture in the fields of economics, culture, and technology and science in postwar Europe? Are we witnessing the emergence of a post-American Europe? What are the challenges and consequences of globalization and the rise of new economies such as China and India for the relations between Europe and the United States?

Publisher Henry Luce suggested in 1941 that the twentieth century can be called ‘an American Century.’ The United States emerged from the Second World War as the world’s most powerful nation. With the beginning of the Cold War, the countries of Western Europe became one of the highest priorities for the American government. The American influence in the Western European nations increased dramatically. Some scholars have argued that what William T. Stead in 1902 already dubbed the Americanisation of the World has been the result of a deliberate policy of public diplomacy or ‘cultural imperialism’ and claimed that the ‘coca-colanization’ or ‘McDonaldization’ of the world created an ‘irresistible empire’ of American mass culture, mass consumer goods and consumerism. More recent scholarship, however, has underlined the independence and choice of European audiences in the complexities of a globalizing world. If the United States has become a leading culture that has dominated pub!
lic discourse in European nations, its ascendancy was the outcome of numerous distinctive transatlantic encounters in a variety of domains, each with its own participants, dynamics and pace.

This course will analyze the most important of these encounters against the long-term trends and changes in relation to the economic power, cultural acceptance, and scientific and technological impact of the United States as reference culture. The course will also focus on the political relationship between Europe and the United States during and after the Cold War.

During this two-week course international students will explore the historical, political, economic and cultural ties between Europe and the United States. Students will engage in discussions during seminars and will be introduced to the state-of-the-art in this field by academic experts involved in transatlantic research projects.

An excursion to the research community of the Roosevelt Study Centre in Middelburg and a full day trip to The Hague are included in the course.

Given the intensity and academic level of the course a good understanding of the English language is mandatory.

Course leader

dr. Jaap Verheul & drs. Maurits Rost

Target group

The course has a focus on the humanities and in offering this as a broad framework it is a challenging course for students from all fields of studies with an interest in European and American history.

Course aim

To provide students with insight and expertise in the history and dynamics of transatlantic relations.

Credits info

Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 865: Course + course materials + housing

EUR 350: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

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