Graduate Conference – Abstracts

Panel I. The EU as an economic actor – trade and development (Discussant: Prof. G. Edwards)

Sophie Schram: “Maintenant, nous sommes à la table”: CETA and the Diffusion of European Multilevel Governance to Canada

Sebastian Steingass: The End of European Union Development Cooperation? The Crisis and its Impact on EU Aid Harmonisation

Kevin Urbanski: Neofunctionalist Explanation of CFSP Actorness: The Case of EU Sanction Policies

Panel II. The EU as a global security actor (Discussant: Prof. W. Wagner)

Trineke Palm: The changing character of EUFOR Althea: an advocacycoalition approach

Julian Bergmann: The European Union as a mediator in peace negotiations – towards a new governance model of EU foreign policy?

Vladimir Kmec: The European Union as a global actor in peacebuilding: an autonomous player or a close partner of the United Nations

Panel III. EU and world regionalism / worldwide regional integration (Discussant: Prof. T. Gehring)  

Sabine Mokry: The EU in the academic world – A postcolonial perspective on the field of “comparative regionalism”

Mariel Reiss: Which Role does the European Union play For the Development of the East African Community?

Panel IV. EU neighborhood policy (discussant: Dr. Petra Guasti) 

Karina Shyrokykh: Human Rights and European Foreign Policy. The Case of Ukraine

 Panel V. The EU as an environmental actor in world politics (Discussant: Prof. A. Niemann)

Lukas Prinz: The EU’s Performance at the Bonn Climate Change Negotiations in March 2014




Sophie Schram: “Maintenant, nous sommes à la table”: CETA and the Diffusion of European Multilevel Governance to Canada


According to the Canadian Constitution, the federal government has sole jurisdiction over foreign trade relations. The Canadian provinces have subsequently been excluded from active participation in the CUSFTA and NAFTA negotiations. During the negotiations of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, however, the provinces actively participated in the negotiations with the EU in their domains of jurisdiction. This shift in diplomatic practices can be understood as the convergence of the Canadian pattern of cross-level interaction with the European one. More specifically, Canadian patterns of cross-level interaction converged with practices of multilevel governance in the EU, characterised by shared authority and policy-making influence across multiple levels of government. Drawing upon diffusion theory, my paper investigates to what extend (1) and by which mechanisms
(2) European practices of multilevel governance were introduced and became acceptable in the Canadian domestic realm. First, I will compare the Canadian cross-level interaction structure during the NAFTA and CETA negotiations respectively to European multilevel governance. Second, I identify coercion and learning as mechanisms accounting for the Canadian internal shifts. Coercion refers to the fact that the EU made negotiations on CETA conditional upon active provincial participation.
Learning relates to the acquisition of other states’ experience. By relying on process-tracing, I identify Quebec and the European Commission as strategic actors promoting the shift in the Canadian crosslevel interaction patterns.





Sebastian Steingass: The End of European Union Development Cooperation? The Crisis and its Impact on EU Aid Harmonisation


Despite several decades of common policies, EU development cooperation has remained highly fragmented. Paradoxically, in recent years, and despite member states’ commitments, Commission efforts to harmonise donor activities have not translated into enhanced harmonisation. At the same time, the financial and economic crisis has exerted significant pressure on European aid policies. However, it has been largely unexplored how the crisis has affected aid integration in Europe. Therefore, this paper analyses how the crisis has affected EU aid harmonisation efforts. Although the crisis has increased pressure on European aid policies, especially aid budgets, it has not facilitated harmonisation to increase the external effect of European aid. On the contrary, the crisis contributed to the growing tendency of member states to focus on inward-looking policies. The paper argues that the crisis has hardly altered the primary challenge underlying aid harmonisation in the EU but amplified it. This challenge is the detachment of member state representatives in Brussels and national aid constituencies which has subsequently developed in the post-Maastricht era. The Commission’s efforts to pursue donor harmonisation during the aftermath of the financial crisis have not overcome competing interpretations of effective development cooperation on the level of the member states.


Kevin Urbanski: A Neofunctionalist Explanation of CFSP Actorness: The Case of EU Sanction Policies



This paper examines how and why the European Union (EU) became an independent actor in the field of international sanctions. As part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), sanction policies belong to the domain of high politics typically dominated by intergovernmentalist reasoning. The proposition put forward here, however, is that the EU itself acquires actor quality the more clearly a certain restrictive measure assigns to the four freedoms of the single market. As a consequence, EU actorness evolves a distinct mode of action that can be both conceptually and empirically distinguished from coordinated state action and that may even run counter the interests of individual member states. To elaborate on this argument, the paper proceeds in three steps: First, a concept of actorness is defined by drawing on the idea of corporate action. Secondly, the concept is linked to neofunctionalism to provide for a theoretical underpinning. By examining the microfoundation of the spill-over mechanism, the cogs and wheels of emerging actorness can be reasonably reconstructed. Thirdly, emergence of EU actorness on the sanctions scene is explained by empirically tracing the process of a spill-over triggered by functional interdependencies between domestic and foreign policy issues. The related empirical cases are the sanctions against Southern Rhodesia in 1966, the sanctions against Iran in 1980 and finally the first autonomous European sanction regime against the USSR in 1982.


Trineke Palm: The changing character of EUFOR Althea: an advocacycoalition approach


Abstract (the full paper is available upon request. Please contact )

States have different strategic cultures when it comes to legitimating the use of military force and its position in the foreign policy toolbox. Yet, increasingly military operations are conducted in multilateral forums. The European Union is one of the most notable examples of this. While some claim that the differences in national strategic cultures remain influential, others argue that a process of learning and convergence can be observed to take place between states.

This paper advances this debate by drawing upon a norm advocacy coalition approach. This approach allows us to assess the relative importance of the persistence of national strategic cultures versus approaches that expect collective policy change to result from processes of learning and institutionalization. This study contributes to this debate by means of a congruence analysis that confronts these competing hypotheses in the case of EUFOR Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). As the EU’s longest running military operation (since 2004), this case is of great interest to trace longitudinal developments in the balance between the various EU foreign policy instruments, and the changing justification of EUFOR Althea. On the basis of policy documents and semi-structured interviews with policy-makers and politicians, this paper concludes that the evolution of EUFOR Althea has been primarily the result of the power politics of different coalitions, although there have been a few instances of learning as well.


Julian Bergmann: The European Union as a mediator in peace negotiations -towards a new governance model of EU foreign policy?



Over the last decade, the European Union has been increasingly involved in directly supporting peace negotiations in inter- and intra-state conflicts by taking on the role of a third-party mediator. Based on these experiences, various actors have pushed for the further development and institutionalisation of EU mediation policy. The paper argues the case for a governance approach to understand policy formulation and implementation in the field of EU mediation policy. It develops an analytical framework structured around three key features of security governance: (1) interaction of multiple actors and heterarchical policy-making, (2) formal and informal institutionalization, and (3) the role of collective ideas and norms. The empirical analysis of policy implementation in the particular case of EU mediation between Kosovo and Serbia illustrates the plausibility and utility of the framework.


Vladimir Kmec: The European Union as a global actor in peacebuilding: an autonomous player or a close partner of the United Nations?



After the end of the Cold War, new security challenges and the changing nature of warfare led to the evolution of new ways of how the international community deals with conflicts and wars. The UN and the EU were at the centre of these changes. Both organisations came almost simultaneously to understand peacebuilding as a necessary policy to prevent the recurrence of conflicts in postconflict situations. Peacebuilding is the main element of CSDP missions and operations which are mainly deployed in post-conflict situations. The UN has developed multidimensional and comprehensive missions and established the Peacebuilding Commission. The growing consensus between the EU and the UN around the strategic value of peacebuilding has had an impact on the formulation of both the UN peacebuilding and the EU CSDP. Nonetheless, the cooperation has not fully worked at the operational level. The EU appears to be an incoherent actor in this partnership.

Since 2003, when the EU launched its first CSDP missions and operations, the prospects for the EU to pursue autonomous engagement in peacebuilding have increased. Is the EU pursuing in peacebuilding its own interests in CSDP or cooperating with the UN? This paper explores the evolution of the consensus between the EU and the UN on the need for and in the formulation of peacebuilding. The paper investigates how the two organisations influenced each other in shaping their understandings of peacebuilding and how this consensus resulted in a partnership and synchronisation of peacebuilding activities. The analysis moves then to the examination of the aspects of operational incoherence while seeking to understand why the EU has shifted the focus to its own CSDP. The analysis is based on relevant EU and UN official documents such as resolutions, communications, reports, statements; the statements of relevant EU/ UN member states; and secondary sources.


Sabine Mokry: The EU in the academic world – A postcolonial perspective on the field of “comparative regionalism”



Within Comparative Regionalism, scholars investigate processes and structures of regional cooperation around the globe. I approach this field from a postcolonial perspective by applying the key arguments of Said and Chakrabarty’s “Orientalism” (1978) and “Provincializing Europe” (2000) to articles reviewing the field’s current state asking on what knowledge archives this scholarship draws. This reveals a number of critical points: Despite the suggested comparisons, the field focusses on the EU, especially by establishing that this particular region-building project marked the beginning of regionalism and by relying on theories deduced from its experiences to be applied to other regions. This can be linked to Chakrabarty’s argument on the politics of historicism, his so-called “first-in-Europe, then-elsewhere-structure” in which differences are expressed as a measure of cultural distance, whereby Europe is the model others are merely imitating. The “EU-as-a-model”-structure often appears in empirical analyses. Here, Said’s argument on representation can shed light to the debate and suggesting the question whether scholars are seeing what they want to see when examining other cases than the EU. These findings indirectly shed light on the EU’s role in the (academic) world. With this meta-perspective that makes academic investigations the object of research I hope to trigger interesting discussions on the EU’s role but also on the role of scholars in producing knowledge about worldwide regional cooperation.


Mariel Reiss: Which Role does the European Union play For the Development of the East African Community?




Karina Shyrokykh: Human Rights and European Foreign Policy. The Case of Ukraine



In recent years, we have witnessed developing cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine, which led to the Association Agreement signed in summer 2014. At the same time, human rights, which are declared to be the fundamental principle of EU foreign policy, are persistently violated by the state. The paper aims to answer the question why Europeanization (as legal approximation) takes place at the same time as one of the core values of the EU is violated? To answer this question I conduct analysis of human rights issue within EU-Ukraine relations. The paper suggests that human rights experience some legal or formal change as a result of Europeanization, which, however, does not translate into change in practice. Institutional changes take place in he context of lack of credible membership perspectives, which makes a contribution to the literature of external governance.
Based on the analysis of primary sources, the paper presents a three-fold explanation
of formal Europeanization and lack of change in practice. The exterior argument suggests that the EU has demonstrated lack of consistency in promoting human rights within the framework of existing programs. Giving priority to security and stability concerns, European foreign policy is far more focused, for example, on the areas related to nuclear safety and border security than in promotion of good governance. The internal argument states that although human rights are institutionalized, they are perceived as “foreign” and treated only instrumentally. The structural argument points out that cooperation within Eastern Partnership and other projects is developed out of older programs, aimed at neither monitoring, nor at promoting human rights, and therefore is dysfunctional.


Lukas Prinz: The EU’s Performance at the Bonn Climate Change Negotiations in March 2014



Climate change is a major challenge of the 21st century. Twenty years after the entry into force of the UN Convention to combat climate change, the process is in deep need
for progress. Therefore, the European Union’s role in the global response to this challenge remains important, even after the failure of the Kyoto Protocol. Since 2011, the international community works towards a new climate treaty, evolving under the Ad Hoc
Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), scheduled to deliver a new climate treaty in Paris at the end of 2015. The paper analyses the Performance of the EU during the ADP in March 2014, using the concept of EU Performance proposed by Groen and Oberthür in 2013. By shortly reviewing the literature on the EU’s global role on climate change, it argues that the approach taken builds an innovative reconceptualisation of previous accounts.
The empirical analysis probes this by applying the seldom-used method of participant observation, following the three variables of the concept: the quality of the EU’s policy objectives, the fit of EU activities with the international constellation of the talks and the EU’s goal attainment. Overall, the paper finds that EU Performance during ADP 2-4 was low-intermediate. In order to increase this score, the findings point towards a need for a more coherent EU policy portfolio between different negotiation topics in order to stimulate progress on the way to an agreement in Paris.