Constructing EU Foreign Policy

Constructing EU Foreign Policy : Identity, narrative and postmodern power

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?

17 days to go
Pre-order Add to wishlist


This book examines European Union's foreign policy and its perceived under-performance. Contrary to many traditional analyses, this poor performance is not ascribed to a lack of political will, institutional under-development, poor leadership or lack of material resources. Instead, the argument here is that the Union's overall foreign policy (in) capacity can be understood as at least in part - if not largely - by virtue of profoundly different visions of what the Union represents in the world. Furthermore, that in the absence of a clear and visible democratic grounding of that policy, the Union is incapable of developing such an identity that can sustain it in its emerging global role. Proposing a radical analytical departure, the book puts forward a model based on the construction of the Union's very identity, most especially its contingency and fluidity, and the implications of this for the Union's relations with other international actors. Attention is therefore given to a better understanding of the Union as a discursive construction and the processes that underpin it. Moreover, those processes are rooted in their iterative performance by policy actors themselves that produce boundaries and result in a in a focus on the changing role of the Union in world affairs. The lack of certainty in the Union's identity is the starting point. The Union is not a self-constituting entity - it is not therefore wholly the product of its own understanding. Rather, our understanding of the Union is driven in significant part by the views, perceptions and beliefs about the Union and its Member States held by its own policy actors and publics and those of international actors that thereby create a shared inter-subjective understanding of the Union. The goal of this work, therefore, is to identify and then to assess the scope and breadth of the contrasting visions that the European Union has of itself and to see how - if at all - such visions reinforce or undermine the Union's declared foreign-policy goals in specific cases. By identifying the perceptual gaps between the different readings of the EU by its own elites and publics, this book holds out the potential of thereby improving our understanding of EU foreign policy making and its execution at key policy stages, i.e. in policy design, in the engagement of policy actors and in the nature of institutional responses. This book will be of much interest to students of EU policy, foreign policy analysis, security studies and IR in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138840106
  • 9781138840102

About Ben Tonra

Ben Tonra is Jean Monnet Professor ad personam of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy and Associate Professor of International Relations at the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Politics and International Relations, Ireland. He is author/editor of five previous more

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Concepts and Ideas 2. Europe as a Post-modern Power 3. Europe as a Western Power 4. Europe as an Imperial Power 5. Europe as a Modern Power 6. EU Foreign Policy I : Core Institutions and Decision-making 7. EU Foreign Policy II: Democratic Legitimacy and Accountability 8. Chad 9. Libya 10. Syria 11. Conclusionsshow more