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The narrative construction of the European Union in external relations

Nitoiu, Cristian (2013) The narrative construction of the European Union in external relations. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 14 (2). pp. 240-255. ISSN 1570-5854

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Identification Number: 10.1080/15705854.2013.785264


The article analyses the way narratives are constructed in EU external relations and their relation to policy practices. Five overarching narratives are identified: the EU as a security provider, the EU as a democratizer and spreader of ‘good’ norms, the EU as an actor that contributes to or assures global peace, the EU as an entity that contributes to the well-being of peoples around the world and finally the narrative of EU good neighbourliness. After a brief section that details the links between discourses, narratives and political practice, the article will systematically explore the five narratives. The rationale for this endeavour is based on the often huge discrepancy found between the ambitious goals set out in narratives and the poor policy track of the EU in its external relations. Continuous policy and discursive redefinition and reconsideration provide a dynamic context in which goals are renegotiated when political reality deviates from them. A clear pattern of downgrading ambitions when policy outcomes do not match them can be observed in the EU's external relations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2015 14:23
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:52

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