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 Unions 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.
Chapter 35: Liberal internationalism
On 24 March 2011, the former German foreign affairs minister, Joschka Fischer, published a letter in Süddeutsche Zeitung entitled ‘Deutsche Außenpolitik – eine Farce’ in which he heavily criticized the German government for its lack of commitment to humanitarian intervention in Libya.1 At the same time, the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy almost single-handedly managed to persuade the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, to engage in such an intervention (Marquand 2011; Sancton 2011; see also Kazianis 2011). Both Fischer and Lévy made a plea for a humanitarian intervention that, in the generic words of Nicholas Wheeler, was meant to ‘save strangers’ (Wheeler 2000). Most governments in the EU shared the French position and, with the ...