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.

Introduction: State Actors

Introduction: state actors
Edith Drieskens

Part IV illuminates the role of state actors in European foreign policy by reviewing the literature on national parliaments, ministries of foreign affairs, line ministries and the European Council. In doing so it shows that no portrait of European foreign policy is complete without these actors. EU actors are often more visible and are perhaps better known, but they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are multiple national actors engaged in policy- and decision-making on European foreign policy, though often below the surface of the water. In fact, this number has only grown in the wake of the process of enlargement. As with the previous parts in this Handbook, leading ...

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