Post-Soviet US and EU Foreign Policy: Exploiting the Tools of Democratization
The years 1989-1991 ushered in the long hoped-for thaw of the Cold War. By 1997, the European Union and the United States sought to realize their geopolitical goals in Northern Europe while attempting to dampen any possible hostilities with Russia. Thus began the era of “gentle invasions” geopolitical tactics, which drew upon democratic peace theories, liberal institutionalism and growing interdependence. Under the auspices of the Finnish presidency, the EU developed the Northern Dimension Initiative (ND), while the United States followed suit with its Northern European Initiative (NEI). Both policies were based upon new conceptions of European common spaces as well as policy approaches that emphasized soft power in the form of promoting environmental protections, business development, civil society promotion, improving law enforcement, energy provision and public health (Browning 2002). This was a new era of fulfi lling geopolitical goals through the promotion of hegemonic norms and values.