Methodological Aspects in the Study of Foreign Policy and Global Role of the European Union


Strezhneva M.V.,

Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Professor, Head of Sector, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), Moscow, Russia, m.strezhneva@imemo.ru

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.06.03
ID of the Article: 5324


For citation:

Strezhneva M.V. Methodological Aspects in the Study of Foreign Policy and Global Role of the European Union. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No 6. P. 25-42 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.06.03



   Buy a digital version in Polismag

Abstract

Methods of research, informed by theories of international relations, frequently employed when studying foreign policy and global role of the European Union, are analytically discussed in this article for the sake of methodologic reflection. Such key concepts as statehood, subjectivity, system, identity, norms and differentiation, are used as reference points to “navigate” between separate theories in order to compare them, thus achieving a clearer description of conceptual ambiguity of respective terms, with certain consequences as concerns direction, limits and scope of any theoretically-oriented analysis. The article shows that IR theories are actively developing and provide good assistance to researchers in exploring international behavior and possible results of the EU’s global influence. The choice the author makes in favour of a certain methodology cannot be taken as neutral: it influences the ways they are interpreted. Thus, better self-reflection is important for credibility of the findings. Ambivalence of the EU as an object of political study is a particular challenge for the IR theories, pushing on their evolution and consolidation of the analytical methods they use. The article presents additional options, provided in this respect by introducing methods employed in political economy and sociology. The notion of the normative power of Europe, introduced and developed by Ian Manners, is singled out as the most popular concept in the area of study under consideration, attracting in impressive numbers the attention of European specialists with differing theoretical predilections. It was found that, when basing exclusively on the constructivist theory as proposed by Alexander Wendt, this notion loses robustness as an instrument of research: rather than helping to understand the specifics of the EU’s international behavior, it prescribes to the EU a certain quite aggressive conduct on the presumption of the indisputable superiority of the European norms for the future European and wider (global) order. 

Keywords
European Union; EU; political realism; constructivism; Bourdieu; field theory; normative power, international relations.


   Buy a digital version in Polismag
References

Adler-Nissen R. Symbolic Power in European Diplomacy: the Struggle Between National Foreign Services and the EU’s External Action Service. – Review of International Studies. 2014. Vol. 40. No. 4. C. 657-681. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0260210513000326

Berling T.V. The International Political Sociology of Security. Rethinking Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge. 2015. 196 p.

Bicchi F. ‘Our Size Fits All’: Normative Power Europe and the Mediterranean. – Journal of European Public Policy. 2006. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 286-303. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13501760500451733

Bigo D. Pierre Bourdieu and International Relations: Power of Practices, Practices of Power. – International Political Sociology. 2011. No. 5. P. 225-258. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-5687.2011.00132.x

Boella G., Torre van der L. Regulative and Constitutive Norms in Normative Multiagent Systems. – KR’04 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. 2004. P. 255-265. URL: https://www.aaai.org/Papers/KR/2004/KR04-028.pdf (accessed 06.09.2017).

Bourdieu P. Espace social: Champs et pratiques. (Russ. ed.: Bourdieu P. Sotsial’noe prostranstvo: polya i praktiki. Saint-Petersburg: Aletheia. 2014. 576 p.)

Bourdieu P. Leçon sur la leçon. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. 1982. 60 p.

Buchholz L. What Is a Global Field? Theorizing Fields beyond the Nation-State. – The Sociological Review Monographs. 2016. Vol. 64. No. 2. P. 31-60. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2059-7932.12001

Buchholz L. What is a Global Field? Rethinking Bourdieu’s Field Theory beyond the Nation-State. – Project at Harvard. 2017. URL: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/history-culture-society-workshop/files/buchholz_what_is_a_global_field.pdf (accessed 06.09.2017).

Caporaso J.A. The European Union and Forms of State: Westphalian, Regulatory or Post-Modern? – Journal of Common Market Studies. 1996. Vol. 34. No. 1. P. 29-52. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.1996.tb00559.x

Charle Ch. Comparative and Transnational History and the Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu: Theory and Practice. – Bourdieu and Historical Analysis. Ed. by Ph.S. Gorski. Durham, London: Duke University Press. 2012. P. 67-88.

Cassirer E. Substance and function, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. New York: Dover Publications. 1953. 423 p.

Сooper R. Post Modern State and the World Order. London: Demos. 2000. 55 p.

Fioretos O. Europe and the New Global Economic Order: Internal Diversity as Liability and Asset in Managing Globalization. – Journal of European Public Policy. 2010. Vol. 17. No. 3. P. 383-399. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13501761003661984

Hill Ch. The Capability-Expectations Gap, or Conceptualizing Europe’s International Role. – Journal of Common Market Studies. 1993. Vol. 31. No. 3. P. 305-328. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.1993.tb00466.x

Hoffmann S. Obstinate or Obsolete? The Fate of the Nation-State and the Case of Western Europe. – Daedalus: 1966. Vol. 95. No. 3. P. 862-915. URL: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.476.7015&rep=rep1&type=pdf (accessed 06.09.2017).

Hyde-Price A. A ‘Tragic Actor’? A Realist Perspective on ‘Ethical Power Europe’. – International Affairs. 2008. Vol. 84. No. I. P. 29-44. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2008.00687.x

International Practices (Cambridge Studies in International Relations). Ed. by E. Adler, V. Pouliot. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2011. 388 p.

Keukeleire S., Delreux T. The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Basingstoke: Routledge Macmillan. 2014. 390 p.

Keukeleire S., MacNaughtan J. The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. 2008. 392 p.

Koval’chenko I.D. Metody istoricheskogo issledovaniya [Methods of Historical Research]. Moscow: Izd-vo “Nauka”. 2003. 486 p. (In Russ.) URL: http://www.hist.msu.ru/Science/IDK/research.htm (accessed 06.09.2017).

Kratochwil F.V. Rules, Norms and Decisions. On the Conditions of Practical and Legal Reasoning in International Relations and Domestic Affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1991. 328 p.

Larsen H. Gaps in EU Foreign Policy. The Role of Concepts in European Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. 2017. 98 p. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95166-6

Lequesne Ch. EU Foreign Policy through the Lens of Practice Theory: A Different Approach to the European External Action Service. – Cooperation and Conflict. 2015. Vol. 50. No. 3. P. 351-367. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0010836715578742

Lipkin M.A. Sovetskii Soyuz i integratsionnye protsessy v Evrope: seredina 1940-kh – konets 1960-kh godov [The Soviet Union and the Integration Processes in Europe: the Mid-1940s – the End of the 1960s]. Moscow: Russkii fond sodeistviya obrazovaniyu i nauke Publishers. 2016. 560 p. (In Russ.)

Maisenbacher J. The Political Economy of Mobility Partnerships – Structural Power in the EU’s External Migration Policy. – New Political Economy. 2015. Vol. 20. No. 6. P. 871-893. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2015.1041477

Manners I. Normative Power Europe: a Contradiction in Terms. – Journal of Common Market Studies. 2002. Vol. 40. No. 2. P. 235-258. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-5965.00353

Manners I. Assessing the Decennial, Reassessing the Global: Understanding European Union Normative Power in Global Politics. – Cooperation and Conflict. 2013. Vol. 48. No. 2. P. 304-329. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836713485389

Manners I. Sociology of Knowledge and Production of Normative Power in the European Union’s External Actions. – Journal of European Integration. 2015. Vol. 37. No. 2. P. 299-318. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2014.990141

Morozov V. Europe: Self-Alignment in Time and Space. – Russia in Global Affairs. 2008. No. 3. URL: http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/n_11285 (accessed 06.09.2017).

Pape R.A. Soft Balancing Against the United States. – International Security. 2005. Vol. 30. No. 1. P. 7-45. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/0162288054894607 

Pavlova E.B., Romanova T.A. Normative Power: Some Theory Aspects and Contemporary Practice of Russia and the EU. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 1. P. 162-176. (In Russ.) DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.01.14

Posen B.R. European Union Security and Defense Policy: Response to Unipolarity? – Security Studies. 2006. Vol. 15. No. 2. P. 149-186. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09636410600829356

Regilme S.S.F. Jr. It Takes Two to Tango: A Constructivist Analysis of EU-ASEAN Interregional Relations. – Global Power Europe. 2013. Vol. 2. P. 237-252. Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32416-1_14

Ryner M., Cafruny A. The European Union and Global Capitalism. Origins, Development, Crisis. London: Palgrave. 2017. 256 p.

Schmitz A., Witte D., Gengnagel V. Pluralizing Field Analysis: Toward a Relational Understanding of the Field of Power. – Social Science Information. 2017. Vol. 56. No. 1. P. 49-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0539018416675071

Schmidt B.C. Realist Conceptions of Power. – Power in World Politics. Ed. by F. Berenskoetter, M.J. Williams. Abington: Routledge. 2007. P. 43-63.

Strezhneva M.V., Rudenkova D.E. European Union: the Architecture of Foreign Policy. Moscow: IMEMO. 2016. 135 p. (In Russ.) URL: https://www.imemo.ru/files/File/ru/publ/2016/2016_029.pdf (accessed 06.09.2017).

Vasfilov D.S. System Analysis of the Interaction of Russia and the European Union in the post-Soviet Space. – Bulletin of International Organizations: Education, Science, New Economy. 2014. Vol. 9. No. 3. P. 31-46. (In Russ.) URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/v/sistemnyy-analiz-vzaimodeystviya-rossii-i-evropeyskogo-soyuza-na-postsovetskom-prostranstve (accessed 06.09.2017).

Wendt A. Anarchy is What States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics. – International Organization. 1992. Vol. 46. No. 2. P. 391-425.

Wendt A. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1999. 429 p. URL: http://www.guillaumenicaise.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Wendt-Social-Theory-of-International-Politics.pdf (accessed 06.09.2017).

Wohlforth W.C. Realism. – The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008. P. 131-149. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199219322.003.0007 

Content No 6, 2017

See also:


Pavlova E.B., Romanova T.A.,
Normative Power: Some Theory Aspects and Contemporary Practice of Russia and the EU. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No1

Gudalov N.N.,
National Identities and International Relations Redux, or Is It Necessary to ‘Reinvent’ Constructivism?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No4

Chugrov S.V.,
Moscow University Bulletin. Series 25. International relations and world politics: 5 years on track. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No5

Chimiris Ye.S.,
The Policy of the European Union in International Conflicts: with the Attempted Settlement of the Relations between Serbia and Montenegro as Example. – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No4

Manoylo A.V.,
Modern Political Conflicts: The Right for Interference. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No6

 
 

Archive

   2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991