Normative Theory in EU Foreign Policy

Helene Sjursen contributes a chapter discussing normative theory as an untapped resource in the study of European foreign policy in the SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy.

The SAGE Handbook on European Foreign Policy is edited by Knud Erik Jorgensen, Aasne Kalland Aarstad, Edith Drieskens, Katie Laatikainen and Ben Tonra.

About the book

During the last two decades the study of European foreign policy has experienced remarkable growth, presumably reflecting a more significant international role of the European Union. The Union has significantly expanded its policy portfolio and though empty symbolic politics still exists, the Union’s international relations have become more substantial and its foreign policy more focused. European foreign policy has become a dynamic policy area, being adapted to changing challenges and environments, such as the Arab Spring, new emerging economies/powers; the crisis of multilateralism and much more.

The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Two-Volume set, is a major reference work for Foreign Policy Programmes around the world. It addresses areas of critical concern to scholars at the cutting edge of all major dimensions of foreign policy. The volumes are composed of original chapters written specifically to the following themes: Theoretical perspectives, EU actors, State actors, Societal actors, The politics of European foreign policy, Bilateral relations, Relations with multilateral institutions, Individual policies, and Transnational challenges.

Normative theory as an untapped resource

'International relations and foreign policy inevitably demand attention to normative issues. Foreign, as much as domestic, politics give rise to normative dilemmas. The international arena is one of conflicting and converging norms, ideals and values, and not only of conflicts of interest and power. It gives rise to a number of questions of justice, ethics and morality. When deciding what to do, foreign-policymakers do not only weigh different and often conflicting interests, they also make value judgements base on what they ought to be done in a given situation. And perhaps more than in any other policy domain the choices made are decisive, and may impact on life and death', Helene Sjursen writes in the introduction to chapter 13. In her contribution to the handbook, she identifies the main lines of enquiry in the study of European foreign policy that are of relevance to normative theory, reviews the arguments and discusses possible gaps and missing links.

Full info

Normative Theory: An Untapped Resource in the Study of European Foreign Policy
Helene Sjursen

SAGE Handbook on European Foreign Policy
Knud Erik Jorgensen, Aasne Kalland Aarstad, Edith Drieskens, Katie Laatikainen and Ben Tonra (eds)

Sage, 2015
ISBN: 9781446276099

Published Aug. 21, 2015 10:12 AM