Rethinking the Grand Strategy of the European Union

  • When: Back to Calendar » May 25, 2012 @ 08:45 – May 26, 2012 @ 09:45
    Where: Loughborough, UK
    Cost: none
    Contact: Cristian Nitoiu
    [email protected]
    Tags: democracy economy EU foreign policy grand strategy integration security


    Organizer: Loughborough University
    Deadline for Applications: 9 April 2012
    Participant’s Profile: Established researchers, Early career researchers, PhD students
    Financial Support: None

    We invite abstracts from both advanced research postgraduate students and established researchers for our multidisciplinary conference on “Rethinking the Grand Strategy of the European Union”, to be held at Loughborough University on 24-26 May 2012. The broad aim of the conference is to explore the ways in which the external strategies of the EU contribute to the development of its international role and impact in a turbulent world, and the ways in which they are connected to the internal development of the European integration project. The conference is generously funded by the Centre for the Study of International Governance (CSIG) at the Department of Politics, History and International Relations, Loughborough University.

    With the ongoing economic crisis we are witnessing an increasingly multipolar but also a turbulent global arena, within which the EU still has not found a stable role. This has led scholars and politicians alike to reflect on the necessity for a grand strategy that would provide the EU with the necessary tools and mechanisms to cope with challenging developments in the international arena. Peter Feaver defines a grand strategy as “the collection of plans and policies that comprise the state’s deliberate effort to harness political, military, diplomatic, and economic tools together to advance that state’s national interest.” In the case of the EU one cannot speak of a „national interest? in singular terms; furthermore, the European Union is often labelled as sui generis and seen as transcending the logic of Westphalian international relations. Thus, many scholars have doubted whether the EU can or should construct a grand strategy in the same way as the most powerful nations states (i.e. the US, Russia or China), or if it should try to emulate such models.

    The conference focuses on the international (external) ramifications of the EU’s internal development, and thus as part of an overall (international) grand strategy. Europe’s divided stance towards Russia, its engagement with the Arab Spring, the development of the European External Action Service or recently its embargo on Iran have all underscored the need to recognise the inherit link between the development of the Union and its external image and actions. Developments regarding five broad areas are seen here to be paramount for understanding the nature of the EU’s grand strategy: economy, security, diplomacy, society, and neighbourhood. Considering these dynamic contexts, the conference aims at enquiring into the necessity, shape, and existence of an EU grand strategy.

    The conference organizers therefore invite abstracts of papers tackling, amongst others, the following questions:

    · What impact does the financial crisis have on the EU’s ability to construct and project a grand strategy?

    · How much do domestic politics matter for the creation and development of a grand strategy for the EU?

    · What has been the impact of the EU’s enlargement on its grand strategy?

    · What would a coherent grand strategy imply for the EU’s policy in its neighbourhood?

    · What has been the impact of the EU’s grand strategy on third party states and international organizations? Can such a grand strategy aid the EU in its effort to promote multilateralism?

    · What has been (or can be) the role of specific Member States or groups of Member States in the development of a grand strategy for the EU?

    · Does an EU grand strategy deepen or mitigate in any way its public legitimacy crisis?

    · How do institutional developments in the field of security and foreign policy influence the EU’s grand strategy? (EEAS, CSDP, etc.)

    · Where do individual AFSJ policies fit into a grand strategy for the European Union? (Asylum, migration, borders, criminal justice and police cooperation, counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation)