• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark Handbook is designed to provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU; reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular; and explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system.

Overview: The European Union and the World
Overview: The European Union and the world
Introduction

Writing at a time when the final phase of the process of widening the European Union (EU) seems to be within reach, the geographical contours of the future domain of ‘foreign affairs’ are clearer than ever.1 Furthermore, after more than two decades of almost constant treaty reform, the EU also seems to have reached its grosso modo final institutional form and only very few issue areas – for instance territorial defence and church affairs – remain outside the EUs portfolio of policies. Finally, the European Commission has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its external service (European Commission 2004). Combined, such a unique historical juncture seems to be particularly apt for reflections on ...

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