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Managing global (in-)security: reconstructing the EU’s international identity in the context of counter-piracy at the Horn of Africa

Reinsch, Moritz (2014) Managing global (in-)security: reconstructing the EU’s international identity in the context of counter-piracy at the Horn of Africa. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The aim of this thesis is to reconceptualise the EU’s international identity in the context of its counter-piracy efforts at the Horn of Africa. While in the past grand narratives have lent meaning to the EU’s role in the world – e.g. civilian power, global power – the current state of the discipline is characterised by the so-called strategic deficit. What both these narratives and their critique misunderstand is the logic of security at the EU level by disregarding its grounding in a particular history and process of institution-forming, most notably reflected in the legacy of constructive ambiguity and the transgovernmental bias, which combine to produce an institution that is fundamentally de-politicised - or, rather, post-political - in nature. With recourse to this institutional particularity, I propose a conceptual approach based on the imperative of ‘managing globalisation’, which elucidates how the EU frames and tackles piracy as an adverse instance of globalisation. First, the Somali pirate is discursively removed from his local context and relocated to the global security agenda as the unpolitical enemy of all and threat to global order. As the relevant ‘other’ he is used to legitimate EU intervention. Second, the EU’s declared comprehensive approach to counter-piracy reflects an operationalisation of the new dogma of ‘effective multilateralism’. While piracy mitigation remains important as a security objective, international cooperation itself is elevated to the status of security objective. Consequently, the EU’s practice of counter-piracy is driven by its concern with the management of globalisation, concomitantly redefining the EU’s international identity towards becoming a global security-provider.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Additional Information: © 2014 Moritz Reinsch
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JX International law
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Economides, Spyros and Smith, Karen E.

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