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The study of the EU as an international actor: Bringing the outside back in. Examples from EU-China relations.

Keukeleire, Stephan and Fonck, Daan and Keuleers, Floor (2015) The study of the EU as an international actor: Bringing the outside back in. Examples from EU-China relations. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    Concerns on EU-centrism in EU foreign policy analysis have become more frequent in recent years. In contrast to the mature debate in International Relations, however, a systematic toolbox for diagnosing and remedying this problem is still lacking. This article’s contribution is twofold. First, it proposes a new typology of five approaches to foreign policy analysis, giving conceptual body and nuance to the debate on EU-centrism. It draws on publications on EU-China relations to further illustrate the proposed categories. This typology can be used for scrutinizing existing analyses, as well as for shaping new research projects. The second part of the article applies this typology in a meta-analysis of post-Lisbon EU foreign policy scholarship. To this end, it analyses a built-for-purpose dataset of 482 articles, which covers all work on EU foreign policy published in 2010-2014 in seven key journals. It finds, first, that academic work on EU foreign policy is indeed rife with EU-centric approaches. Moreover, this is the case irrespective of the policy area under study and of the focus of the journal. Second, while non-western authors form a small minority within the dataset, their work on EU foreign policy holds promise for a move away from EU-centrism. The article concludes by proposing research strategies that aim to assist the EU foreign policy analyst in adopting an outside-in perspective, both in terms of his analytical competences (linguistic outside-in, disciplinary and methodological outside-in) as well as well as concerning the acquisition of knowledge on the context of the region, country or society that is the subject, target, recipient, beneficiary or victim of EU’s external policies (material ‘outside-in’, polity ‘outside-in’, normative ‘outside-in’). These various dimensions of an outside-in perspective are illustrated through the example of EU-China relations. This analytical framework can not only be used to analyse the EU’s foreign policy, but can also contribute to the strengthening of the analysis of foreign policy in general.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > China
    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 16:25
    Number of Pages: 27
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 16:25

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