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Title: 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
Author: Wright, Nicholas
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available