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.

Policy Paradigms

Policy paradigms
Theofanis Exadaktylos


Foreign policy is a complex policy type that has been considered unique in European Union (EU) studies due to dogma, higher diplomacy and strategic cultures (K.E. Smith, 2013). Scholars therefore tend to examine the field through the lens of International Relations or classic foreign policy analysis. Although these disciplines help the scholars of foreign policy to understand the complexities of the international system, as well as the multifarious nature of foreign policy-making processes in terms of high politics, they do not allow the pinning down and tracing of the values, norms and beliefs that develop over time through different policy-making procedures and the interactions between policymakers at the meso- and micro-levels. In fact, studies of ...

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