Constructing the Cfsp: The Utility of a Cognitive Approach

26 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2003

See all articles by Ben Tonra

Ben Tonra

University College Dublin (UCD)


Traditional analyses of the European Union's common foreign and security policy (CFSP) tend to characterize it either as an effete and declaratory expression of lowest common denominator politics, or as a limited framework for median-interest foreign policy bargaining. Even at a modest empirical level, however, these representations of CFSP fail to convince in view of its development in recent years. This article will argue that a cognitive approach towards the study of CFSP opens up new and crucial vistas for analysis, and offers some striking conclusions on the reciprocal relationship between CFSP and national foreign policies and the transforming capacity of the CFSP national foreign policies, including their 'Europeanization'.

Suggested Citation

Tonra, Ben, Constructing the Cfsp: The Utility of a Cognitive Approach. Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 41, pp. 731-756, September 2003. Available at SSRN:

Ben Tonra (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Belfield, Dublin 4 4

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