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: Transnational Challenges

Introduction: Transnational Challenges
Ben Tonra

Foreign policies do not operate in a neutral environment. Although policies may be seen as purposeful action, their failure or success do not hinge only on political will, material capacity and efficient policy-making structures. Such policies are also both constrained and enabled by a set of global conditions. Within the scholarly literature, these conditions may be seen as a function of deep-seated structural realities of the international system of states, or they may be the product of socially constructed realities. In either case, they can serve to delimit or empower the policy ambitions of foreign-policy actors. This part of the Handbook focuses on six of these conditions: the balance of power, civil conflict ...

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