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Title: EU-GCC relationship : towards 'strategic partnership'
Author: Lenos, Angelos
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the EU-GCC relationship and tests the hypothesis that if the EU and the GCC states share interests and grand goals, to the extent that these are prioritised by the EU and its member states, then value-driven differences are subordinated to interests and as a result (i) the EU and the GCC states enhance their relationship towards a “strategic partnership” and (ii) the EU’s (self-) image as a foreign policy actor is weakened in terms of its normative (self-)image and enhanced in terms of its effectiveness as a useful ‘strategic partner’ in a multipolar and interdependent world. In doing so, the thesis attempts to provide a comprehensive conceptualisation of a ‘strategic partnership’ and to test it within the broader context of EU foreign policy, exploring the role of interests, values and (self-)images in the shaping of EFP. The framework of ‘strategic partnership’ is applied in two case studies of economics and politics; the EU-GCC negotiations for establishing a Free Trade Area and the cooperation of the EU and the GCC states in dealing with the crises in Yemen. The findings of the research suggest that the EU and the GCC states, to the extent that they prioritise their common interests and respond to each other’s (self-) images deriving from the current symmetrical power balance, are moving towards a strategic partnership. Despite the wide gap in the value systems of the parties, this factor has not been the most decisive for the development of this relationship. This conclusion calls for further exploration of the shaping and application of EFP, especially having in mind on one hand the ‘normative power’ argument and on the other hand the need of the EU to negotiate interests, values and perceptions when dealing with emerging powers. Regarding the concept of ‘strategic partnerships’ the research confirms the central role of the symmetrical power balance between the parties and their interdependency. It has identified a level of division of labour between the EU and the GCC states regarding regional challenges and it has highlighted the role of non state actors. It has also underlined the need for flexibility, questioning the role of cohesiveness and institutionalisation of interactions as prerequisites for a ‘strategic partnership’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Government of Cyprus
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; JZ International relations