Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Panel 701: How is European Foreign Policy Different 10 Years after the Lisbon Treaty?
Tuesday, 03/Sep/2019:
4:45pm - 6:15pm

Session Chair: Heidi Maurer, University of Oxford
Location: Anfiteatro 8

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How is European Foreign Policy Different 10 Years after the Lisbon Treaty?

Chair(s): Heidi Maurer (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)

Discussant(s): Richard Whitman (University of Kent)

This panel takes stoke of the state of European foreign policy ten years after the Lisbon Treaty. Smith´s paper re-assesses the international order, in which the EU operates. It questions its institutions, mechanisms, and the capacity of European foreign policy to adapt to possible challenges. In complementing Smith´s structural view, Westlake examines the latest developments in European foreign policy cooperation in Brussels. Orbie and Delputte look in particular how external policies like European development policy have been impacted by the increased aim for a more strategic foreign policy. Last, Juncos and Pomorska scrutinise the added value of the latest trend coming from IR (practice theory) in researching European foreign policy action.

This panel has been organised by NORTIA: the JM-Network on Research & Teaching in EU Foreign Affairs (


Presentations of the Symposium


Testing the Boundaries of Order? Europe, the European Union and a Changing World Arena

Michael Smith
University of Warwick

This article sets out to re-assess a number of arguments made in the past twenty years about the relationships between Europe, the EU and international order, in the light of current changes within the world arena. Specifically, it starts from the emergence of an apparently new international and European order after the end of the Cold War, based on new forms of institutions, rules, negotiation and boundary-making and on new roles for key actors including states and the European Union. It goes on to examine the key mechanisms underpinning this order, including the interactions between markets, hierarchies and networks and the impact of the EU as a ‘normative power, a ‘market power’ and a ‘realist power’. The article then explores the challenges to this conception of European order emerging from power shifts at the domestic and European levels, the impact of economic crisis, the fragility of existing boundaries and the emergence of a multipolar or ‘interpolar’ world arena. Finally, it assesses the capacity of European actors, and specifically the EU, to absorb, divert or capitalise upon these challenges over the next decade, and argues for the emergence of a pluralistic yet resilient European order centred on a reformed EU.


The European Union’s Foreign Policy: New Challenges and Responses

Martin Westlake
London School of Economics and Political Science

Building on the outcome of a January-March 2019 seminar series at the LSE’s International Relations Department, this paper will consider a number of new, inter-related challenges facing the European Union’s young foreign policy and the responses that the Union has been generating. These include: challenges to the post-war multilateral approach to international relations; aggressive trade policies; the shifting stances and circumstances of candidate and neighbourhood countries; managing the EU’s continued propagation of human rights and other values; climate change and the opening to the Arctic region; demographics and the ‘pivot’ to Africa; NATO-EU Permanent Structured Cooperation relations against the backdrop of an American return to Westphalia; and developing relations with the United Kingdom as a third country. The paper will look back to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty and the 2016 Global Strategy and forward towards the new European Council and High Representative’s emerging policy stances.


The Contestation of Diplomatic Practices: from Socialisation to Renationalisation?

Ana E. Juncos1, Karolina Pomorska2
1University of Bristol, 2University of Leiden

Following the new ‘practice turn’ in International Relations, scholars have increasingly studied European security and diplomacy through this lens with a view to shed light on the often unconscious and habitual practices acquired by actors in their daily interactions. While the term ‘practice theory’ encompasses various theoretical strands from Bourdieusian approaches to assemblages to Actor Network Theory (ANT), this article scrutinizes the value added of such an approach in the area of European Foreign Policy (EFP). Despite the positive contribution these approaches have made to the field in terms of a (re)discovering the ‘ways of doing’ things and highlighting the role of agents in the diplomatic, foreign, and security field, in many respects, practice approaches are also problematic and potentially limiting. In the paper, while focusing on the empirical case of contestation of diplomatic practices in the Council, we identify and discuss four ‘blind spots’ of practice theory: 1) the blurred boundary between the competent and incompetent performances; 2) the significance of performing for different audiences; 3) attributing different meanings to the same practice and 4) the role of institutions in explaining changes in practices.


The End of EU Development Policy

Jan Orbie, Sarah Delputte
University of Gent

The European Union (EU) is widely recognized as a major player in international development. European policy-makers rarely fail to emphasize that the EU is the world’s largest donor. Also within the discipline of EU studies, a growing number of scholars have focused on development policy. However, following a period of enthusiasm about the EU’s ‘unique’ contribution to international aid effectiveness in the 2000s, recent accounts emphasize the severe challenges that face EU development policy. Through a critical realist lens, we argue that these challenges cannot be fully understood without accounting for the existential crises of the notion of ‘development’ in Europe. In doing so, we aim to bridge the EU studies literature with the de-colonial turn in development studies. First, we describe the multiple crises of development policy. Relying on existing studies, these are summarized as the triple-i challenges: (i) institutional (limited legal competences, difficult political coordination, and bureaucratic turf battles); (ii) impact (limited poverty eradication, decline of EU ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power); and (iii) instrumentalization (development tools used for security policy, trade and investment purposes). Second, we argue that one needs to analyze the underlying debates that constitute the current malaise of EU development policy. Beneath the triple-i challenges lies a series of existential debates about (a) what development is, (b) what development cooperation is, and (c) why we should have a development cooperation policy. While critical scholars and activists have longer raised these issues, we show that they have come to more and more to affect mainstream debates in European development policy. Finally, we reflect on how this heralds the end of EU development policy and on how EU studies can be enriched with insights from the de-colonial turn.

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