Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Challenging expectations : a study of European Union performance in multilateral negotiations
Author: Dee, Megan Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 7397
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Expectations of how well the European Union (EU) performs in multilateral negotiations have often been premised upon the EU’s capabilities as a global actor and its ambition to ‘lead’. Considerable attention has subsequently been paid to the EU as an actor, and leader, within multilateral negotiations; with focus particularly given to multilateral trade and environmental negotiations where expectations of EU performance are highest. Within this discourse, highly disparate understandings of how well the EU performs have however emerged, with the EU lauded on the one hand for its improving actorness and leadership, yet lamented for its ineffectiveness and lack of influence on the other. Few efforts have however sought to move beyond questions of what the EU is, and what it wants as a negotiator, to engage instead with what the EU says, what it does, and what it achieves in a negotiation environment. Addressing these issues, the aim of this study is to evaluate EU performance in multilateral negotiations as a measure of both its negotiation behaviour and effectiveness. Conducting analysis over-time (from 1995 to 2011) and across policy-fields, including case studies covering the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); this study tests expectations of EU performance and offers explanation for why it varies. Challenging expectations in several ways, the study finds that EU performance in multilateral negotiations does not follow a pattern of being good in those fora where it is most ‘state-like’ and poor in those forum where it is least integrated, but is instead highly variable, not only between negotiation environments, but also within them. It thus finds that the EU performs neither as well as the leadership discourse suggests, nor as poorly as the effectiveness literature implies. Explanation for variation in the EU’s performance is moreover found not only in the EU’s institutional complexities and changes in structural conditions, but in how these conditions intersect to shape the EU’s level of ambition. Where the EU has high ambition, pursuing progressive goals with the EU as a distinctive preference outlier compared to its negotiation partners, the EU’s ability to persuade others to raise their ambition in support of EU preferences is limited. Instead, it is where the EU moderates its ambition; pursuing progressive objectives but maintaining some zone of agreement with negotiation partners that it performs well. The case is thus made that EU negotiation performance may be aided less by the normative distinctiveness of EU preferences and its endeavour to ‘lead’ the way, and much more by the EU’s pragmatism in finding commonality with the preference structures of its negotiation partners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General) ; JN Political institutions (Europe) ; JZ International relations