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The European Union: An Effective Actor in Multilateral Arms Negotiations?

Romanyshyn, Iulian (2017) The European Union: An Effective Actor in Multilateral Arms Negotiations? Advisor: Marchetti, Prof. Raffaele. Coadvisor: Bruni, Dr. Domenico . pp. 192. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

The EU’s participation in multilateral negotiations became an object of study by EU scholars fairly recently. Although EU member states had already started to coordinate their positions within the UN in the 1970s, the academic literature in the field is neither coherent nor systematic. With intent to contribute to a growing research agenda on the EU’s impact in world affairs, this project examines the EU’s effectiveness in what is arguably a ‘least likely’ case for the EU’s successful participation: multilateral arms negotiations. The international security field of arms and weapons is often viewed as an area of ‘high’ politics, where states’ considerations of sovereignty, integrity and survival are at the center stage, complicating the role of non-traditional post-modern actors like the EU. This study thus postulates the following research questions: to what extent is the EU an effective actor in multilateral arms negotiations, and what explains EU effectiveness? The thesis applies a small-n comparative research design, assessing the explanatory power of agency and structure-related factors alike, borrowed from the European integration and international relations theories and merged in a single analytical framework. The empirical evidence is drawn from the area of global arms affairs by way of triangulating between semi-structured interviews, document analysis and direct observation. More specifically, the project examines the EU’s involvement in the multilateral negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty and the latest (2010 and 2015) Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences. In brief, the main claim of the thesis is that the EU is an effective actor in multilateral arms negotiations, the level of its effectiveness differs across negotiation cases, and the account of this variance cannot be reduced to a mono-causal explanation. The EU showed three distinct patterns of effectiveness – outcome, process and damage limitation effectiveness – each of which is defined through a particular mix of goal achievement, relevance and external cohesion as the main conceptual components of EU effectiveness. Agent-based explanations related to power (internal policy) and interests (member states’ interest convergence) appeared to be responsible for this diverse picture, as their explanatory power was found to be the most instrumental in accounting for various instances of EU effectiveness. Far from being irrelevant, the structural factors acted as accelerators and breaks on the influence of the internal factors (global distribution of power) or even as determinants of the latter (international constellation of interests), but by itself the external context did not shape EU effectiveness directly.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
PhD Course: Institutions, Politics and Policies
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/240
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2018 10:59
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/240

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