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Human rights and democracy in EU foreign policy: The cases of Ukraine and Egypt.

Balfour, Rosa (2008) Human rights and democracy in EU foreign policy: The cases of Ukraine and Egypt. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis empirically analyses the role that human rights and democracy have played in European Union foreign policy towards Ukraine and Egypt since the end of the Cold War. It departs from the dominant approach in international relations theory that conceptualises the pursuit of such aims as an illustration of the EU's sui generis actorness, to trace empirically the sources of the rhetorical inclusion of human rights and democracy in foreign policy and their implementation. The thesis argues that the 'logic of diversity' provides the most powerful means to understand the 'push' factors that led to the integration of human rights and democracy in EU foreign policy and the 'brakes' in their implementation. Whereas scholars have suggested numerous ways in which such 'normative' positions are overridden by other strategic concerns, my research findings conclude that the EU increased its 'normative' coordination in parallel to pursuing further engagement with third countries on key interests, making the dilemma between 'principles and interests' more acute. Notwithstanding the finding that EU action has been, mostly but not exclusively, limited to declaratory positions, the single most important factor jeopardising a stronger policy can be located in the intergovernmental politics within the Union. Human rights and democracy have thus been pushed up the EU agenda thanks to the 'policy entrepreneurship' of some member states, at times succeeding in persuading other more reluctant EU actors. Their 'institutionalisation' has also helped raise the costs of non action. The motivations can range from instrumentalist rationality to cognitive views about the legitimacy of such principles. However, these are trumped not just by conflicting 'interests', but also by different cognitive understandings of the opportunity to pursue human rights and democracy. Action is thus the result of bargaining between different 'constituencies' within the EU on the basis of both rationalist arguments as well as ideational views.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

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