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The EU's potential for domestic change beyond its borders: examining effective cooperation between EU civilian missions and host countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood

Dobrescu, Mădălina (2015) The EU's potential for domestic change beyond its borders: examining effective cooperation between EU civilian missions and host countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis explores the conditions under which incumbent regimes in the Eastern Neighbourhood cooperate effectively with CSDP missions by adhering to and adopting the objectives set out by their mandates. In establishing whether and under what circumstances CSDP missions successfully cooperate with third country governments by inducing the acceptance of and adherence to their mandates, this thesis reclaims a focus on the local dimension of EU partner countries in order to explore the extent to which domestic stakeholders display agency in their relations with the EU and are able to constrain and/or facilitate its foreign policy. It thus asks: under what conditions do incumbent regimes in host countries embrace EU-driven strategies and reforms? The thesis examines two CSDP functions – rule transfer and confidence-building – across three CSDP missions in the Eastern Neighbourhood: the EUJUST Themis rule of law mission to Georgia, the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to Georgia. Drawing on rational-choice assumptions and recent academic contributions to the Eastern Neighbourhood literature, this thesis starts from the premise that the sine qua non condition for effective cooperation between CSDP missions and incumbent regimes in the Eastern Neighbourhood is the compatibility between EU objectives and the incumbent regimes’ intrinsic preference for gaining and/or maintaining political power. Defined as preferential fit, the ‘match’ between the goals of EU missions – as highlighted by their mandates – and the political agendas of national governments in ENP countries emerges as the necessary condition that facilitates effective EU-ENP cooperation. In addition to confirming the centrality of the agency-oriented concept of ‘preferential fit’ for the development of effective cooperation between the EU and its Eastern neighbours, the findings outlined in the four empirical-analytical chapters also identify the conditions which shape the cost-benefit calculations of national governments: 1. The competing strategies of domestic veto players; 2. The potential for alternative coalitions (Russia, US other international organisations); 3. The cost-effectiveness of threats and side-payments (i.e. EU policy-specific conditionality; and EU capacity-building).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Mădălina Dobrescu
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Ker-Lindsay, James and Economides, Spyros

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