A force for and because of multilateralism: when is the EU a multilateralist actor in world society?

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Abstract

The European Union (EU) presents a Janus-faced profile concerning multilateralism. While in some areas it embraces multilateral institutions to a greater degree than other major players, in others it displays a less than unconditional support. Both patterns have been accounted for, but no account has explained why the EU shifts from one to the other. This article advances a reason for this bifurcated international identity. The EU is embedded in a world society that is culturally and normatively dense with regard to the standard of what qualifies as an actor. In the areas in which its actorness is further away from such a standard, the EU is impelled to take remedial action and embrace other components of the model of international actorness, like multilateral institutions and multilaterally developed norms. In order to test this hypothesis, the article examines the role of the EU vis-à-vis negotiations on anti-personnel landmines and hormone-treated beef. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1228
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Actorness
  • anti-personnel landmines
  • EU foreign policy
  • hormone-treated beef
  • multilateralism
  • world society

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