Act – React – Impact? The EU as a Global Actor in International Crises

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Act – React – Impact? The EU as a Global Actor in International Crises

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Act – React – Impact? The EU as a Global Actor in International Crises
Author: Lettenbichler, S.
Issue Date: 2014-07
Keywords: Syria
Foreign policy
European Union
International crisis management
Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between actorness and effectiveness and questions the direct influence of coherent behavior united positions of EU member states on the degree of activeness the EU exerts during an international crisis. It looks at the interplay between actorness, the institutional setup of the EU and the role it took up during different crises. In addition to that, it questions the direct relation between a high degree of actorness translating into more influence on the international stage. It does so by answering the question if a more coherent foreign policy – as it is generally argued – would better enable the EU to exploit its capability as an international actor in global affairs. Two cases were studied to find answers on these questions: the Mali and the Syrian crises. In fact, the Mali crisis was characterized by a high degree of cohesive behavior, whereas in the Syrian crisis frictions were predominant even though a comprehensive sanctions regime could be installed. Institutional aspects, namely the changes with regards to EU foreign policy introduced by the Lisbon Treaty as well as characteristics of the member states, including size and length of membership, were vital as well. Further, the activeness of the EU in both crisis was different in the way that the EU took up a more active and decisive role in the Mali crisis as compared to Syria. Therefore, the expected effect could be found in both cases.
Supervisor: Hosli, Prof. dr. M.O.Chalmers, Dr. A.W.
Faculty: Faculty of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Department: Political Science and Public Administration (Research master)
Specialisation: Political Science / Public Administration
ECTS Credits: 15

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