Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Do perceptions matter? : negotiating EU-Africa relations
Author: Kotsopoulos, John
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Multilateral relations between the EU and Africa stretch back to the very founding of the European Economic Community. Based originally on a trade and development aid model, and channelled via successive framework agreements between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, the relationship sustained a donor-client arrangement for decades. Efforts at changing this historic structure began tentatively and often controversially but took on a bolder dimension in the 2000s with the establishment of the African Union and the evolution of EU foreign policy. The most notable output of this new impetus was the 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JABS). The Strategy was an ambitious attempt to broaden areas of cooperation between the sides and redress the imbalance that had hitherto characterised the relation, ship. . Yet structural change represented by the JABS required not only a reconstitution of the physical framework through which the sides interacted, it also demanded change at the ideational level. Long held perceptions (images, biases and stereotypes), coupled with fickle levels of trust, proved a significant cognitive barrier to change. To assess change between the EU arid Africa an in-depth analysis of the negotiation of the JABS is posited, using an approach motivated by cognitive analysis of perceptions of self, other and situation. Interviews conducted with most of the negotiators from both the EU and AU revealed notable redressing of previously held beliefs, with consequences for the way in which the negotiations were not only perceived but also conducted. The AU even enjoyed a degree of power based on its ability to successfully drive many of the initiatives of the JABS -a different manifestation of how the weak can sometimes "punch above their weight". However, it is a1so shown that not all actors were capable of perception change. By breaking down the constituents privy to the negotiations (using levels), it is demonstrated that decision makers further removed from the negotiation process held views that did not necessarily correspond to those of their more engaged colleagues. This led to clashes, contrasting motivations and the unwittingly replication of some of the historic asymmetries that the JABS was meant to banish.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available