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Karolina Gawron-Tabor

The strategic partnership between the European Union and the United States is one of the most complex and multi-layered (economic, diplomatic, societal, and security-related) strategic relationships for both partners. The EU–US partnership is built upon the shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, civil liberties, and open markets – the very core foundations of their actorness as such. However, this strategically significant relationship has actually not been formalized. The current framework for the EU–US partnership is still provided by the New Transatlantic Agenda of 1995. Gradually deepened and broadened, the partnership features several levels of bilateral strategic interaction, including the highest – summitry – level comprised of political leaders from the US, the European Commission and the EU Presidency. The element limiting the cooperation is the rivalry between the partners, regarding the economic issues and management of international problems.

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Karolina Gawron-Tabor

In 1974, Australia came to be the first of ASEAN’s ten Dialogue Partners. Four decades later, at the 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Burma held in November 2014, Australia and ASEAN upgraded their relationship to the strategic partnership level. The cooperation that underpins this bilateralism is multidimensional – extending to over more than twenty different interaction areas, including good governance and human rights, transport, finance, energy, tourism, forestry, emergency management, culture, science, public health, environment, and connectivity. The rationale of Australia’s partnership with ASEAN is as follows: first, Australia prioritizes multilateral cooperation in a whole range of other important regional frameworks, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus); second, Australia appreciates more its bilateral relations with ASEAN member states. On ASEAN’s side, it is mainly the financial support it receives from Australia that defines the international organization’s strategic interactionism with Australia.

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Edited by Lucyna Czechowska, Andriy Tyushka, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska

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Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska, Lucyna Czechowska, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Andriy Tyushka

Strategic partnership is surely not a new form of cooperation in the international arena; however, until today research has focused mainly on relations between states, rarely investigating other actors of international relations (IR). In light of this, the members of the research team Strategic Partnership Group (SPG) embarked on an analysis of strategic partnerships between states and international organizations – the main types of actors in the contemporary international system. To this aim, an ideal model of strategic partnership has been devised, verified and validated. The turn of the century brought a new era in international relations. The collapse of the post-war world order and the end of the Cold War combined with ongoing globalization processes gave rise to the substantial expansion of a network of interdependencies in global politics. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the bipolar bloc system, states regained the sovereign capability of defining and defending strategic goals, i.e. the autonomous choice of partners and allies. One of multiple structural and material effects of globalization on contemporary international relations was considerable broadening of the selection of potential allies and partners. Nowadays it encompasses not only states but also a variety of international organizations and corporations. Considering their competence to conclude legally binding agreements and take autonomous actions, it is no accident that intergovernmental and supranational organizations have become oft-chosen partners. Amid uncertainty, economic crisis and multicausal networks of dependencies, international politics offers as many cooperation possibilities as limitations, and thus poses a challenge to actions of both state and non-state international players. Foreign policy needed new tools to mitigate the effects of the changing international environment, increasing risk and intensifying conflicts of interests, and the answer was strategic partnerships.

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Andriy Tyushka, Lucyna Czechowska, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska

Drawing on the critical literature review from the previous chapter, this chapter sketches the minefield of theorizing an inescapable phenomenon – strategic partnerships in world politics and IR theory. It first outlines the theory-building rationale and strategy, epistemological considerations and ontological standing; then it justifies why building a ‘heuristic model’ was chosen as a way of studying the phenomenon. The chapter develops a realist-constructivist approach to the study of strategic partnerships, according to which strategic partnerships can provide states and non-state actors with a form of foreign policy assertiveness, special bilateral relations and alignment, as well as a form of structured international engagement. The theoretical and methodological discussions within this chapter are completed by five main hypotheses, a qualitatively-driven mixed-method methodological framework, including the description of main variables, their operationalization and measurement methods, data collection and research sampling.

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Lucyna Czechowska, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor, Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska and Andriy Tyushka

This chapter advances a testable analytical model of strategic partnerships in IR. The developed regression model of strategic partnerships between states and international organizations is built around a set of two dependent variables (cooperation willingness; cooperation sustainability), four independent variables (strategic goals convergence; strategic roles convergence; unique bonds; regularized bilateral strategic interactionism) as well as a single intervening variable (trust). The model-underlying theory suggests that strategic partnerships are a product of the intertwined cooperation willingness and cooperation sustainability factors, with trust intervening as a salient factor in the process of cooperation. This means that the increase in cooperation willingness and cooperation sustainability will result in the increase of strategic partnership substantiality. This chapter theoretically contextualizes, conceptualizes and operationalizes the main seven variables, and develops a set of applicable qualitative and quantitative indicators and measures.

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Andriy Tyushka, Agata Domachowska, Lucyna Czechowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska

The concluding chapter contains comparative findings from qualitative case studies of the EU, NATO, ASEAN and the Andean Community’s strategic partnerships with a sample of great, major and minor regional powers. It also contains the findings of the statistical testing (multiple multivariate linear regression analysis) of the strategic partnerships model, including the propositions for a model refinement following the abduction strategy. Strategic goals convergence was confirmed to be a good predictor of cooperation willingness among partners. Trust was confirmed to be a good predictor of cooperation sustainability. Strategic roles convergence, unique bonds and regularized bilateral interactionism have not shown statistically significant results. A refined model of strategic partnerships appears to be more robust, with strategic goals convergence correlating well with trust, which both predict well cooperation willingness – and in turn are good predictors of cooperation sustainability.

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Edited by Lucyna Czechowska, Andriy Tyushka, Agata Domachowska, Karolina Gawron-Tabor and Joanna Piechowiak-Lamparska

In post-Cold War international relations, strategic partnerships are an emerging and distinct analytical and political category critical in understanding the dynamics of contemporary strategic cooperation between states and International Organizations. However, the idea of strategic partnerships has remained under-theorized and overshadowed by the alliance theory. Addressing this clear-cut gap in the International Relations/Foreign Policy Analysis literature, this book originally endeavors to theorize and empirically test the analytical model of strategic partnerships as a new form of sustainable international cooperation in times of globalized interdependence and turbulence.