Given the centrality of the EU’s economic power to its place in international relations, I have gradually moved into studying EU foreign policy more broadly. Chapter 8 of Parochial Global Europe: 21st Century Trade Politics (with John Peterson, Oxford University Press, 2014) was particularly pivotal to this transition. In this chapter we argue that the EU’s internal, economic concerns constrain its ability to use trade policy as an effective tool of foreign policy. I am currently working on two projects dealing with the EU’s foreign policy:
Triangular Diplomacy and the Crisis in Ukraine: The EU, the U.S. and Russia
Supported by the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence (2014-1842).
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequent conflict in eastern Ukraine represent both the greatest security challenge to western Europe since the end of the Cold War and a profound challenge to regional stability as well as international norms. My colleague Vicki Birchfield and I organized a workshop at Georgia Tech in May 2015, which will lead to an edited volume. Focusing on the short-term response to the annexation of Crimea and subsequent conflict, this volume will explore the interactions between the United States, the European Union and Russia. These three powers represent the vertices/angles of the triangle in “triangular diplomacy,” with Ukraine as the “object” in the middle.
This volume is distinctive in two particular ways. First, it is explicitly comparative, considering how the U.S. and EU are responding to the same crisis, although the stakes are different for each and the nature of the problem is not necessarily understood in the same ways. It thus contrasts a conventional, if exceptional, great power – the U.S. – with a very non-traditional foreign policy actor – the EU, which is typically depicted as distinctive in terms of capabilities, organization and motivations. This volume, therefore, will shed light on what kind of international actor the EU is and help to inform foreign policy analysis more broadly. The Ukraine crisis is a particularly appropriate case, as it presents an especially critical test for the EU’s foreign policy as it concerns aggression by its neighboring great power – Russia.
The second distinctive feature of this volume is its “360-degree” perspective. Rather than focusing on the perspective of a single party in a bilateral relationship or even the contending perspectives of a bilateral pair, this volume engages both with how the US and EU each regard the other in its dealings with Russia, but also how Russia and Ukraine perceive the motivations and effectiveness of the western powers.
International Relations and Foreign Policy of the EU
With Ben Tonra (University College Dublin) and Richard Whitman (University of Kent), I am editing a four volume text that aims to provide readers with a comprehensive digest of the seminal articles in the study of the EU’s international relations, encompassing both the foreign policy and the external relations of this unique international actor. In so doing, we offer both the foundational articles that have shaped mainstream academic discourse surrounding this topic as well as a handful of more provocative pieces. These latter have raised significant and perhaps unresolved issues in the study of the Union’s international relations. As editors, we intend to present a nuanced reading of the key issues/concepts by presenting these seminal pieces – from a wide range of sources – in a contextualized and structured way, so as better to inform scholarly discussion. The four volumes will therefore encompass 60-65 articles as a series of maps; at different scales and highlighting different topographical features, which will cumulatively provide a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of this international actor.