U.S. policy towards European integration, 1969-1974: a new understanding

Nguyen, T 2017, U.S. policy towards European integration, 1969-1974: a new understanding, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title U.S. policy towards European integration, 1969-1974: a new understanding
Author(s) Nguyen, T
Year 2017
Abstract This research project aims to examine U.S. policy towards European political and economic integration between 1969 and 1974 under the Nixon administration. It argues that despite the redefining of U.S. policy to European political and economic integration, U.S. promotion for this process between 1969 and 1974 continued to be strong. By arguing against a “hands-off” approach in U.S. policy towards European integration under the Nixon administration, the research helps to prevent the misunderstanding that there was a discontinuation in the United States’ supports for moves to European integration. This certainly contributes to the development of literature on U.S. foreign policy and European integration. Some lessons for policy makers will be drawn from the changes and continuities in the Nixon administration’s policy towards European integration from 1969 to 1974. These lessons from history will be valuable for the policy making circles of the nations in relations with the United States. Utilizing a documentary research approach, this research seeks to answer four overarching research questions:

What was the Nixon administration’s policy towards European integration from 1969 to 1974?
How did the Nixon administration change U.S. policy towards European integration from 1969 to 1974?
How were the eco-political relations between the United States and the EEC influenced by such changes?
What are the lessons for contemporary policy makers of nations in relations with the U.S.?


The research will demonstrate that the shift in U.S. policy to European integration during 1969 and 1974 does not signal any significant discontinuity in the Nixon administration’s support and promotion for moves towards European integration. The research will also demonstrate that the Nixon administration’s redefining U.S. policy towards European integration had a profound effect on European integration and the relationship between Washington and Brussels. On the whole, the Americans and the Europeans continued to have close relations. At the same time, the United States and the European Community simply meant less to each other than they had done before 1969. Western Europe was still important, though less so than before 1969. Here the United States had its most significant allies. The knowledge of changes and continuities in the Nixon administration’s policy towards European integration will be valuable for us to explain the current events and predict the future developments in the United States and the European Union relations.

The first decade of the twenty first century witnessed the eruptions of tensions between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and this easily makes people forget that Washington has consistently supported the European integration project. U.S. leaders saw the European Community as an essential part of the global peace and a significant contributor to the global prosperity. Evidently, the U.S. policy to European Community is not confined to Washington and Brussels. In an interdependent and globalized world, nation-states know that it is in their economic, political and security interests to develop relations with both the United States and the European Union. The relationship between the United States and the European Union remains important to understand the world politics, and the study of its history, notably the study of U.S. policy towards European integration is vital.

Underpinning this research is the extensive use of newly-released archival materials from the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, the Library of Congress, and the State Department. Furthermore, the work is based on the public papers in the American Presidency Project and the materials on the topic of European integration and unification of the Archive of European Integration (AEI). Also, the research has extensively used secondary data namely scholarly writings, memoirs, and newspapers. Mining these sources made it possible for the researcher to shed new light on the complexity and dynamism of the Nixon administration’s policy towards European integration.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
Keyword(s) Nixon administration
European integration
European Community
U.S. policy
Kissinger
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Created: Wed, 17 May 2017, 16:06:52 EST by Adam Rivett
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