The external dimension

The emergence of a common European foreign, security and defence policy has few if any historical precedents.

How does the emerging constellation of political order place itself as a political, humanitarian and economic power, and how does it relate to world order?

We will examine the core characteristics of the ongoing processes of reconfiguration and consolidation in the field of foreign and security policy. What do developments in the EU’s external dimension tell us about the overall direction in which the European political order is moving? We also assess the implications for Norwegian foreign, security and defence policy. Foreign and security policy is the hard case for those expecting that the EU has moved beyond intergovernmentalism. This also means, however, that should the EU shape a robust foreign and security policy this will be an important indicator of the EU's development into a polity in its own right.

We will analyse the decision-making structures in the complex institutional network that regulates the field of foreign and security policy. We ask: (A) to what extent has the EU's foreign and security policy moved beyond intergovernmental problem-solving and towards an autonomous governing capacity? (B) in so far as a move beyond intergovernmental problem-solving has taken place, has it further restricted possibilities for access to information and democratic control? In addition we will examine the policy "output": To what extent and in what ways this differ from foreign and security policy as we traditionally understand it, and whether the EU, although no longer a civilian power, will still be a "humanitarian power": Will the EU wield the threat of force consistent with the international balance of power system of the Westphalian order, or will it opt for promoting a cosmopolitan world order where international affairs are subjected to higher-ordered principles of law? Will it seek to overcome power politics through a focus on strengthening cosmopolitan norms in the international system?


Published Oct. 5, 2010 5:16 PM - Last modified July 5, 2012 2:18 PM