EU Foreign and Security Policy in Comparative Perspective: Explaining Achievements and Shortcoming


Dozent/inIngo Peters
RaumIhnestraße 21 Seminarraum F

Mo 14-16 Uhr

What kind of actor and what kind of power is the European Union in the international realm? These questions have been addressed in many pertinent academic books and articles as much as in political statements, conferences or interviews. Over the past decade, the competence as much as the institutionalization and instruments of the EU for pursuing some sort of 'foreign policy' have increase significantly. However, still the EU faces the challenge of more or less parallel foreign policy processes conducted by its member states, the Commission or the Council, the latter specifically with its Common Foreign and Security Policy. The declared goal of speaking with one voice and acting in unity remains a major challenge. However, this realm supposedly has been upgraded by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 which indeed nurtured many hopes for an even more significant role of the EU in international relations. Based on the numerous and divergent accounts and policy recommendation available in the pertinent literature, this seminar starts from the premise that the answer to the aforementioned question may not lay with debates and prescriptions, and as such is not just a matter of socially constructed wishful thinking, at least not alone. But rather this question might be an empirical one which can be answered in substance systematically by comparative research. The "nature of the beast" (Risse) may more or less accurately be marked as a (more or less) sui generis political machinery resulting in (more or less) sui generis political process and actual policy conduct in international affairs. However, this seminar will dare focussing on comparing EU foreign-policy making, conduct and impact with those of states and governments, on the one hand, as well as traditional inter-national organizations like the United Nations or NATO, on the other hand. The aim of this seminar is to achieve substantial evaluations and causal analyses of EU foreign policy achievements and shortcomings compared to state actors and IOs. This involves major theoretical as well as methodological options and challenges which will be discussed as to facilitate a solid base for case study research in terms of Georg's "structured focused comparison". Der Seminarreader ist im Kopierladen Brümmerstr. 40/ Ecke Thielallee erhältlich.