This book reviews a variety of approaches to the study of the European Union's foreign policy. Much analysis of EU foreign policy contains theoretical assumptions about the nature of the EU and its member states, their inter-relationships, the international system in which they operate and the nature of European integration. The book outlines the possibilities for the use of discourse analysis in the study of European foreign policy. It sets out to explore the research problem using a political-cultural approach and seeks to illuminate the cognitive mind-maps with which policy-makers interpret their political 'realities'. The book provides an overview and analysis of some of the non-realist approaches to international relations and foreign policy, and proposes an analytical framework with which to explore the complex interplay of factors affecting European foreign policy. The book suggests one way of seeking theoretical parsimony without sacrificing the most defining empirical knowledge which has been generated about Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) over the years. It argues that while the sui generis nature of CFSP presents an acute problem for international relations theory, it is less pronounced with regard to traditional integration theory. The book discusses the dimensions of European foreign policy-making with reference to the case of arms export controls. Situated at the interface between European studies and international relations, it outlines how the EU relates to the rest of the world, explaining its effort towards creating a credible, effective and principled foreign, security and defence policy.

This chapter addresses two key objectives of this book identified in the introductory chapter. It makes a case for a new theoretical approach to the study of the European Union as a global actor based explicitly upon an adapted foreign policy analysis. It also seeks to broaden the focus of the analysis from the Common Foreign and Security Policy to the much more broadly based concept of European foreign

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
The logics underpining EU enlargement

The foreign policy of the European Union is in many ways a puzzle to students of international relations. Doubts about whether there is in reality a European foreign policy contrast with empirical observations of the considerable influence exerted by the EU, if not always in the international system at large, then at least in Europe. Such observations imply that the EU has a ‘foreign policy’ of sorts

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Between international relations and European studies

The European Union’s foreign policy is an ongoing puzzle. The membership of the enlarging European Union has set itself ever more ambitious goals in the field of foreign policy-making, yet at the same time each member state continues to guard its ability to conduct an independent foreign policy. As far as the EU’s ambitions are concerned, foreign policy cooperation led to coordination, and

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy

Launched in 1970, Europe’s common foreign policy has, to some degree, come of age. Because previous attempts to introduce cooperation in the field of foreign policy had failed, the cooperative enterprise was deliberately launched with very modest ambitions. Its development over the years came to include still more policy areas, and still more modules were added to its institutional infrastructure. When

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
A political–cultural approach

The foreign policy process has become Europeanised, in the sense that in every international issue, there is an exchange of information and an attempt to arrive at a common understanding and a common approach – compared to how things were in the past, where most issues were looked at in isolation without addressing the attitudes

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
The European union’s policy in the field of arms export controls

(Adler 1997b ), one could say that integration theories are social and ideological constructs that contribute to shaping the reality of integration rather than to explaining it. European foreign policy is a case in point. Each area of foreign policy decision-making in the EU seems to be inspired by different ideological approaches to integration favoured by the different foreign policy actors. Accordingly, European foreign

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy

Social constructivist discourse analysis has, since the early 1990s, become increasingly popular across the social sciences, including international relations. The aim of this chapter is to outline the possibilities for the use of discourse analysis in the study of European foreign policy. Pure rationalists often dismiss EU foreign policy as ‘just words’ or ‘declaratory diplomacy’ as it is often

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy

The uneven but manifest emergence of a more coherent EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, which now includes significant elements of defence and military cooperation, makes it even more imperative to refine a theory and a set of analytical tools for studying the role of the EU as an international actor. As has often been noted, however, CFSP and its predecessor, European Political Cooperation, have not been well

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Explaining foreign policy variation

What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? The relative explanatory weight carried by domestic politics versus that of the systemic arenas in which states operate is a matter of some dispute between pluralists on the one hand, and realists and structuralists on the other. On the face of it, if the domestic level is determinant, as pluralists tend to argue, different kinds of states should follow different foreign policies and similar ones similar policies. If the systemic level is

in The international politics of the Middle East