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Resistant to Change? The EU as a Normative Power and Its Troubled Relations with Russia and China
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för markoperationer (KV Mark). Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Land Operations Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3339-3536
Department of Government, Uppsala University.
2018 (English)In: Foreign Policy Analysis, ISSN 1743-8586, E-ISSN 1743-8594Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we investigate the European Union's (EU) role as a normative foreign policy actor and its troubled relations to Russia and China. We contend that the lack of preparedness of the EU to foresee the increasingly tense relations with these countries can be explained through a role theoretical perspective. We show that the attachment of the EU to its role as a normative international actor reduced its awareness of Russia's and China's growing refusal to accept the EU's ambition to diffuse liberal norms and principles. The EU's inability to read the changing role expectations of China and Russia hampered the shaping of an appropriate foreign policy leading up the diplomatic crises with these two countries in the late 2000s and early 2010s, respectively. Theoretically, the findings contribute with a novel understanding of role conceptions in terms of reducing an actor's preparedness to acknowledge changes to its international role position caused by challenges raised by antagonistic partners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
European Union, foreign policy, China, Russia
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8233DOI: 10.1093/fpa/ory008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8233DiVA, id: diva2:1265490
Available from: 2018-11-23 Created: 2018-11-23 Last updated: 2018-12-05Bibliographically approved

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