Europe's Foreign Policy and the Nature of Secrecy

ARENA Working Paper 11/17 (pdf)

Mai'a K. Davis Cross

What is the role of secrecy in crafting EU foreign policy? This paper analyzes the concept of secrecy in governance, and argues that to some degree secrecy is of functional necessity for policy-makers. Despite common associations of secrecy with anti-democratic practices, when it comes to foreign policy, some level of secrecy is actually necessary for good governance. Furthermore, the counter-point to secrecy, transparency, does not automatically lead to more democracy in governance processes. Indeed, historically, transparency has sometimes been used an instrument of control and domination. Thus, the relationship between secrecy and transparency is not simply zero-sum. The author considers the case of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) to explore these arguments.

This paper was first published as GLOBUS Research Paper 6/2017

Tags: CSDP, CFSP, Governance, Policy-making, Secrecy
Published Dec. 22, 2017 1:00 PM - Last modified Dec. 22, 2017 1:01 PM