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 52: Interregionalism
Interregionalism is deeply rooted in the foreign policies and external relations of the EU. Interregional cooperation today not only encompasses trade and aid but also political dialogue, cultural relations and even security cooperation. Although the EU's official ambition has been to formalize and institutionalize its interregional relations with other regional bodies or organizations (so-called ‘pure interregionalism’), in practice there are a bewildering variety of interregional or group-to-group relations on display (Hänggi 2006; Baert et al. 2014).
The EU is rapidly evolving as a global actor and while doing so it has been trying to export its own civilian and normative values. Interregionalism is an important ...