The research group focuses on U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations – both past and present – in the dimensions of politics, security, economy, society, and culture.
Within the context of the research group, particular emphasis is put on the role of soft power in U.S. history and foreign affairs as well as transatlantic relations. Whereas hard power traditionally rests on military coercion or economic inducement, soft power can be considered as attractive power, resting for example on (political) values or the culture of an actor. Questions regarding possible shifts in the dimension of soft power are among the main focus areas of the research group. To this end, alongside theoretical differentiation of the concept of soft power, empirical case studies regarding the soft power of the United States of America as well as further actors are conducted.