Normative Foundations in the EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy - The Case of the Middle East Peace Process: A View From the Field
31 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 13, 2011
The paper examines the normative foundations of EU foreign and security policy against the context of one of the world’s most intractable disputes, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Recent scholarship has developed a thesis that the European Union – perhaps uniquely – is a ‘normative power,’ an international actor dedicated to the export of values and norms rather than (or in addition to?) the pursuit of interests. This generates a number of questions, at perhaps the core of which is under what conditions and in what circumstances can and does the EU use a strategy of norm export and to what effect? The aim of this paper is thus to assess how EU foreign and security policy is pursued on the ground, how EU officials perceive their own role and – crucially - how they are seen by others within this particular peace process. The paper concludes that there is only limited evidence for the thesis of the Union as a normative power and that the explanatory power of rationalism and instrumentalism thus remains considerable. However, the very fact that many officials – from both the EU institutions and the Member States – have internalised core common norms is testimony to the changes that have occurred in national foreign-policy making.
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