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Title: Establishing the rules of the game : bargaining power in relations between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan
Author: Van Gils, Eske
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 4073
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
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The European Union (EU) has had a range of policy objectives, many of them transformative, in the countries in its eastern neighbourhood since their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. However, there appear to be limits to the EU's success in fulfilling the objectives with a transformative character, especially in its relations with Azerbaijan. This thesis examines why the EU faces limits to this fulfilment, by examining Azerbaijan's strategic use of bargaining power as a possible explanation for these hindrances. This research is premised on the idea that policy-making in bilateral relations can be seen as a form of continuous negotiation, which outcomes are determined by the EU and Azerbaijan's respective negotiation success based on their strategic application of bargaining power. The hypothesis tested in this thesis is that the lack of inclusive policy-making by the EU has led the Azerbaijani government to use bargaining strategies in order to enforce more inclusive policies, where the initial EU objectives are not in line with Baku's interests. This resistance to the EU's transformative objectives could then explain why the latter are only fulfilled in part. This idea will be tested on three different policy areas: agenda-setting of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; democracy and human rights promotion policies; and the negotiations over economic and legal approximation. The case studies will corroborate the hypothesis but demonstrate variations in the successful application of bargaining power strategies to the three policy domains. This research will conclude that the current configuration of power considerably limits the fulfilment of EU transformative objectives in the neighbourhood, and requires substantial change in the EU policies and attitudes, through more inclusive forms of policy-making, to be more effective and sustainable. This study makes three important contributions to the scholarship: it develops the concept of bargaining power in international relations, and links it to the concept of inclusive policy-making to comprehensively ascertain the EU's capacity to meet its transformative objectives. Furthermore, it sheds an empirical light on Azerbaijan as a hitherto understudied country case of international relations.
Supervisor: Korosteleva, Elena ; Whitman, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: J Political Science