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Theories and myths of European foreign policy

Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

Thinking about European foreign policy (EFP) can be frustrated by the uncertainties of terms and definitions, as well as by the exclusive tendencies of foreign policy analysis. The uncertainties over how to interpret EFP are multiplied in a more global era reconfigured by globalising, multilateralising and multipolarising processes. In order to make greater sense of EFP in a global political-cultural context, this chapter will consider the ways in which political theories and cultural myths co-constitute each other in both symbolic and substantive terms. EFP is understood here to involve the international, supranational and transnational policy processes of European states and institutions in relation to the rest of the world. In this respect, the study of EFP includes an analysis of the engagements of European states in international and multilateral diplomacy, the interregional and multipolar interactions of European international organizations, and the behaviour of European non-governmental actors working through the above agents as part of transnational and globalizing activism.

The chapter adopts a pan-European approach in analysing EFP at the interfaces of these international, supranational and transnational policy processes. This analysis includes the consideration of the foreign policies of EU and non-EU states, as well as the impact of the European integration processes on both members and non-members alike. In a similar vein, the chapter seeks to review the literature on collective European activity, whether international, supranational or transnational, in order to identify common patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of European Politics
EditorsJosé Magone
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date22 Dec 2014
Pages875-889
ChapterPart IX, chapt. 48
ISBN (print)9780415626750
ISBN (electronic)9781315755830
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2014
SeriesRoutledge Handbooks

Bibliographical note

Ian Manners is Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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