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  • Author: Joan DeBardeleben
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The improved relations between Russia and the European Union (EU) in the 1990s were followed by a rise in tension since 1999. This article argues that constructivism can provide important insights into the basis of continuing difficulties. Drawing on the nature of the two actors, the author argues that the foreign policy identities of both actors are in a formative process, and thus the construction of inter-subjective meanings has the potential to be a particularly transformative element in the relationship. Both the Russian Federation and the EU are relatively new as regional and global actors, and both are in the process of forming their foreign policy identities, although in quite different contexts. Neither the EU nor Russia has developed a strategic conception for the relationship, and political discourse often obstructs communication rather than furthering the generation of inter-subjective meanings. The article argues that a constructivist analysis can help to expose the deep interconnections between normative disagreements, conflicting constructions of interests and differing concepts of governance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Michael Smith, Natee Vichitsorasatra
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: European Union (EU)–Asia relations raise linked problems (on the one hand) of EU collective action and identity and (on the other hand) of cooperation. The relationship is characterized by complexity and variety in three dimensions: first, 'voices' and history; second, institutional engagement and structure; and third, issue structure. In order to explore the implications of this complexity and variety, and to generate propositions for further research, we deploy International Relations theories based on material interests, ideas and institutions. These help us to demonstrate not only the application of 'analytical theory' but also the role of 'practitioner theory' in the evolution of relations between the EU and Asia, and thus to reflect systematically on the problems of collective action and cooperation identified at the beginning of the article.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Georg Wiessala
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article investigates EU foreign policies regarding Human Rights with Asia. The perspective adopted here argues for a consideration of selected, social-constructivist, perspectives. The article emphasizes ideas, identities, values, educational exchange and human rights in EU policy towards Asia. Through a number of case studies, the article demonstrates that there is both an 'enabling' and an 'inhibitory' human rights dynamism in EU–Asia dialogue. The article suggests some ways of translating this into policies. It proposes a more inclusive, 'holistic', understanding of human rights discourse in East–West relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia