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.

Normative Theory: An Untapped Resource in the Study of European Foreign Policy

Normative theory: An untapped resource in the study of European foreign policy
Helene Sjursen

Normative theory has traditionally received little attention in the study of international relations and foreign policy. Most analyses are implicitly or explicitly framed in terms of interest and power as the sphere of the international is assumed to be alien to questions of values and principles. This scepticism about the relevance of normative theory for understanding the international sphere seems to be shared by political theorists as well as those actually researching international relations and foreign policy. As Knud Erik J⊘rgensen writes, ‘When theorizing politics, many political theorists somehow stop at the border of national ...

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