The effectiveness of the European Union as an international actor (2000)
Only comparatively recently has the importance of thinking about the European Union's role in the international environment become widely recognised, resulting in a substantial increase in the volume of work in the field. Despite this, little has emerged in the way of general theoretical frameworks, with theorists preferring to concentrate their efforts on specific areas or case-studies. While many of these efforts are valuable, the concepts developed in this way are often only narrowly applicable. Indeed, Sbragia argued (in defence of a comparative approach) against such narrowness, saying that "thinking about the Community comparatively will prove to be more fruitful analytically than simply describing the Community as 'unique' and consequently analyzing it exclusively on its own terms" (in Hix, 1998, p.334). Further to this, it is often the case that discussion of the European Union in the international environment is conducted on the assumption that it is already understood what actorness and effectiveness entail. These terms are far from being generally understood. What is needed is a clear enunciation of their meaning. For at least this reason the research undertaken in this thesis is justified. Its value lies in the enunciation of clear principles of actorness and their application to the European Union. The bulk of discourse relating to the European Union in the international arena falls into two basic categories: the analysis of the results of particular EU actions, and the analysis of the process of decision-taking for EU actions. The purpose of this thesis differs from both these approaches. In attempting to determine the effectiveness of the Union as an international actor, the thesis will concentrate not on the reasons for taking a given decision, nor on case studies of particular actions, but rather on the tools the Union possesses, and whether it is effective in utilising these to achieve its goals.
KeywordsEuropean Union; European Union countries--Foreign relations
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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Doidge, Mathew (University of Canterbury. National Centre for Research on Europe, 2014)One of the issues frequently raised when the EU's role as a normative actor is considered is that of consistency/variation in its approach. Much of this has centred around a norms–interests dichotomy, and the question as ...
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Doidge, Mathew (DIPLO, 2022)