Co-operation, Co-optation, Competition? Understanding how Britain and Germany interact with the EU’s Common Foreign Security Policy, and why they employ the strategies they do.

Wright, Nicholas (2013) Co-operation, Co-optation, Competition? Understanding how Britain and Germany interact with the EU’s Common Foreign Security Policy, and why they employ the strategies they do. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is a highly significant arena for
the production of foreign and security policy for all member states and has been the
focus of extensive academic examination since its establishment. An important body of
literature in this regard has been that which utilises supranationalist theoretical
frameworks to understand its development. This seeks to move beyond instrumental or
utilitarian understandings of how and why states engage with the CFSP, looking instead
at its impact on member states. Their central insight is that the consequence of extended
cooperation and interaction is a transformation not only in how states make foreign
policy, but in their underlying interests and preferences that underpin their involvement
in it.
To make this argument, many such analyses have sought to apply the range of
conceptual tools offered by constructivism. How they apply constructivism is
problematic, however. While the CFSP has facilitated common approaches towards a
wide range of policy issues, the supranationalist theoretical literature fails to account
adequately either for what is taking place at the national level, or to consider the full
range of drivers of interest and preference formation such as history, geopolitics, etc.
This thesis argues, therefore, that the application of constructivism within
supranationalist theoretical examinations of the CFSP cannot provide a satisfactory
framework to explain how and why states interact with the CFSP in the manner that they
do.
To demonstrate this, the thesis examines how Britain and Germany, representative of
two alternative standpoints on the EU and integration, have engaged with the CFSP.
Analysing the national traditions, structures and processes that provide the basis for their
foreign policy-making, it argues that while constructivism generates important insights
into the processes by which policy is made, particularly through the concept of
socialization, insufficient attention is paid within supranationalist theoretical analyses to
the role of domestic foreign policy regimes as generators of their national interests and
preferences. Instead, it contends that we need to employ rationalist interpretations of
interest formation and how states organise to pursue these interests if we are to generate
an accurate picture of how and why they interact with the CFSP in the way that they do.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 17:36
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2014 17:36
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48141
DOI:

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