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.
Scholarly works on EU–Japan relations1 revolve around caution or, more precisely, echoes of disappointment and frustration due to a history of unfulfilled promises, or ‘untapped potential’ (Vanoverbeke 2013, 333). This is natural considering the fact that on both sides those who take up the subject of EU–Japan relations show from the beginning a keen interest in the development of bilateral relations. On the European side many of the scholars are Japanologists or former officials working on Japan in one way or another. On the Japanese side those who study Japan–EU relations mostly have a keen interest in European affairs. It is understandable under these conditions that scholars lament as ‘disappointing’ the evolution and the present ...