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Strategy-Less in a World Of Power Transition

Howorth, Jolyon (2015) Strategy-Less in a World Of Power Transition. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    Introduction: At the meeting of the European Union (EU) heads of state and government on 26/27 June 2014, a paper was adopted which bore the grandiose title of Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change. It announced five “overarching priorities” for the next five years: stronger economies and jobs; societies enabled to empower and protect; a secure energy and climate future; a trusted area of fundamental freedoms; effective joint action in the world. The document has already been subjected to a robust overall critical analysis (Emmanouilidis 2014). What concerns me here is the final section – the EU’s foreign and security policy. That section notes that the strategic and geopolitical environment has become “fast-shifting”, particularly in the EU’s southern and eastern hinterland, and offers four policy prescriptions. However, before assessing those prescriptions, it should be noted that the fundamental flaw in this section of the “Strategic Agenda” is that there is no sign of a strategy. If strategy is neatly defined as “the calculated relationship between means and large ends” (Brady Johnson 2014), it is notable that there is absolutely no reference to the former, and that the latter is reduced to the defense of the EU’s interests and values and the protection of its citizens. There is neither any attempt to understand the nature of the contemporary world (a world of power transition) nor to conceptualize the EU’s potential role in that shifting global order.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 14:39
    Number of Pages: 27
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 14:39

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