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Title: A leader without followers? : European Union relations with China and India on climate change, 1990-2009
Author: Torney, Diarmuid
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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The EU has, for a long time, portrayed itself as an international leader on climate change. Previous studies have tended to focus on the characteristics of EU leadership, but have failed to examine the extent to which EU leadership generates “followership”. Going beyond these existing approaches, this dissertation analyzes not just EU attempts at leadership but also the response of two potential followers: China and India. Based on extensive fieldwork, the dissertation explains the pattern of EU engagement and the response to engagement in each case, and makes three key arguments. First, EU engagement was driven by a desire to build the international role of the EU, but also from 2000 onwards in particular by growing normative concern and material interest within the EU regarding combating climate change. The development of engagement was also conditioned by the broader development of EU relations with China and India. Second, EU engagement took the form of institutionalized dialogue and capacity-building projects. These were generally more extensive in the EU-China case; the EU-India relationship was significantly more limited. Both cases were characterized by a lack of EU capacity—particularly the EU-India case—and to some extent by inconsistency and incoherence. Third, the Chinese Government responded through limited normative emulation and limited but growing lesson-drawing through bilateral cooperation in specific sectors. While the Indian Government also responded through limited normative emulation, the principal Indian response was resistance. Moreover, both the Chinese and Indian Governments resisted the EU approach to the international climate change negotiations. This pattern of engagement and significant resistance stemmed partly from the EU’s failure to develop sufficient capacity for effective engagement, but also partly due to significant differences in the way each side has framed the issue of climate change. Based on these findings, the dissertation concludes that while the EU was not entirely a leader without followers, it has acted as a highly restricted leader in its relations with China and India on climate change.
Supervisor: Mayer, Hartmut Sponsor: ESRC ; National University of Ireland
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International studies ; European Union ; China ; India ; Climate Change ; Energy ; Environment