AmbigEUity – The EU and the Solidarisation of International Society

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2020-07-19
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Politikwissenschaft
Advisor: Hasenclever, Andreas (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2018-07-19
DDC Classifikation: 300 - Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
320 - Political science
Keywords: Weltordnung , Ordnung , Wandel , Europäische Union
Other Keywords:
International society
international order
European Union
English School
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The study examines the EU’s potential to contribute to the transformation of international socie-ty and thus engages with EU foreign policy as well as the debate about the EU’s role in the world. The focus is on processes of change within the underlying structure of international so-ciety. Following an English School approach, the work focusses on processes of solidarisation. The study sets out three core features that characterise a solidarist as opposed to a pluralist international society: (1) an enhanced degree of cooperation that not only aims at the fulfilment of primary goals, but that increasingly addresses objectives which exceed the mere coexist-ence of (state-) actors; (2) an increased relevance of individuals and other non-state actors within the global order, ultimately also as subjects of international law apart and independent from states; (3) a re-interpretation of state sovereignty as responsibility, including the possibility to transfer certain sovereign rights to higher levels. The analysis of such transformative pro-cesses and the EU’s contribution to them in three different policy fields (human rights, climate change and international trade) focusses on tensions and ambiguities that such processes nec-essarily entail. Ambiguity is an inevitable feature of processes of change because transforma-tive moves always need to engage with those structures that are supposed to be changed. Consequently – and opposed to what is commonly assumed – ambiguous policies can contrib-ute positively to such processes of change. The widespread argument that inconsistencies and contradictions within EU foreign policy necessarily undermine the EU’s transformative potential as well as its normative power is thus turned upside down.

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