During the last two decades the study of European foreign policy has experienced remarkable growth, presumably reflecting a more significant international role of the European Union. The Union has significantly expanded its policy portfolio and though empty symbolic politics still exists, the Union’s international relations have become more substantial and its foreign policy more focused. European foreign policy has become a dynamic policy area, being adapted to changing challenges and environments, such as the Arab Spring, new emerging economies/powers; the crisis of multilateralism and much more. The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Two-Volume set, is a major reference work for Foreign Policy Programmes around the world. The Handbook is designed to be accessible to graduate and postgraduate students in a wide variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Both volumes are structured to address areas of critical concern to scholars at the cutting edge of all major dimensions of foreign policy. The volumes are composed of original chapters written specifically to the following themes: • Research traditions and historical experience • Theoretical perspectives• EU actors• State actors• Societal actors• The politics of European foreign policy• Bilateral relations• Relations with multilateral institutions• Individual policies• Transnational challenges The Handbook will be an essential reference for both advanced students and scholars.

Theories of European Integration

Theories of European integration
Julian Bergmann Arne Niemann

Introduction1

The study of European foreign policy (EFP) has been dominated by descriptive empirical accounts – for example, of policymaking, decision-making and regional or issue-based case studies – while (explicitly) theoretically guided research has been rare (Knodt and Princen 2003; Tonra and Christiansen 2004: 4). This lack of theoretical work notwithstanding, European-integration theory (EIT) – alongside traditional foreign-policy analysis (FPA) and international relations (IR) – constitutes one of the major research traditions through which EFP has been analysed and conceptualized (Smith 2008: 177). EIT, however, does not comprise one homogenous research agenda, but encompasses a wide range of theoretical approaches that differ with regard to their ...

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