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Lobbying in EU foreign policy-making towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: exploring the potential of a constructivist perspective

Voltolini, Benedetta (2013) Lobbying in EU foreign policy-making towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: exploring the potential of a constructivist perspective. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis explores how constructivist insights could help us to form a more complete picture of lobbying in EU foreign policy-making, with a special emphasis on EU foreign policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It demonstrates that non-state actors (NSAs) such as business groups, NGOs, solidarity movements and think tanks, are important players in the EU’s foreign policy-making. By sharing the constructivist views on the embeddedness of actors and assuming that actors interact with each other in order to make sense of the world, this thesis investigates lobbying on the basis of three analytical dimensions; namely roles, frames and levels. It is shown that NSAs lobbying the EU play a consensual role, which is based on mutually legitimising social interactions that do not challenge the EU’s actorness and policies towards Israel and Palestine. When combined with the use of legal or technical frames, these consensual forms of interaction are conducive to a re-framing of EU policies towards Israel and Palestine. In contrast, confrontational forms of social interactions, combined with the use of political frames are more recurrent at the national level. Finally, this thesis analyses how the national level is used, when NSAs lobby the EU. It concludes that there is a partial Europeanization of lobbying carried out by NSAs based in member states. The EU and national levels tend, however, to remain quite disentangled from each other. The argument presented in this thesis is tested in three case studies (EU-Israel trade relations, the UN Report following the war in Gaza in 2008-2009 and the EU-Israel Agreement on pharmaceutical products), which represent important aspects of EU foreign policy and were frequently mentioned by NSAs and officials. Moreover, the national level is analysed in the cases of France, the United Kingdom and Germany, which are the three big member states of the EU and crucial players in EU foreign policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Benedetta Voltolini
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Bicchi, Federica and Smith, Karen E.
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/751

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