Political Science Foreign Policy Theory Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Interestingly enough, it can be observed that the usage of books as sources of material is relatively reduced in both articles.

After a series of analyses, Paul Cornish comes to the conclusion that, despite the tremendous international movements and advances, the security policy of the European Union remains unclear. The main reasons for this uncertainty are given primarily by the difficultly in predicting the country's subjection to any military threats, the changing shape and size of the European Union or the opaque interests of the formation. What does however improve the stand is the adherence of the EU member states to NATO, which remains the most credible security organization across the globe.

Given this situation, the political approach of the overall European continent to security issues seems to be mostly influenced by NATO, rather than the Western European Union or the European Union. This context led to a situation in which the member states of the European Union became aligned with the ideologies of cooperation. In the words of the author, "the European security dialectic seems to have come closer than ever before to the realization that the specters of 'inefficiency' and 'duplication' are to be found not so much in Europeans and Americans building more tanks and combat aircrafts than are jointly needed, but in sustaining more institutions that are required, and in devising ever more complex arrangements by which these institutions may cooperate" (Cornish, 1996). This conclusion may well be extrapolated to explain the less pro-active stand taken by the European Union in answering to the global security challenges.

B.3. Developing the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Similar to the previous article, Developing the Common Foreign and Security Policy was published within the journal of International Affairs, under the aegis of Blackwell Publishing. It was documented and written by Douglas Hurd and featured within the 70th volume, 3rd number, of the 1994 series. It is the most compact of the three, but its findings are nevertheless conclusive and relevant, due to both the usage of reliable sources, as well as the vast expertise of the writer, who occupied the position of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The core question in Hurd's study is in fact a simple one, relating to the very self of the European Union's foreign and security policy. What is however compelling is the four-sided nature of the question, in the meaning that the author strives to identify the origins of the policy, its development through time, its present characteristics and manifestation, as well as future potential for implementation.

Unlike the previous two works, Hurd's article does not come to an end with a section on concluding remarks which would round up and restate the most important findings of the research. These can nevertheless be identified by looking at the actual analysis. In this order of ideas, the author of the article identifies the following:

European cooperation for foreign policy issues began in 1970

Throughout middle 1980s, a treaty was signed for European cooperation in the fields of foreign and security policies

The evolution has manifested in the convergence of the national security and foreign policy goals

The future of the common foreign and security policy depends strictly on the human efforts towards sustained collaboration.

Not only in terms of structure is this last article different from the previous two ones, but also in terms of its data source. While the previous two articles were based on tens of resources, Hurd's only one secondary source is David Heathcoat'Amory's the World Todays, which is however only mentioned as a readers' note for further information. What is however notable is that the work commences with the study conducted by the same author throughout 1981. Those findings are considered in light of the evolutionary forces which manifested and are corroborated with additional data retrieved through direct observation. In this order of ideas, the second source used by the author is his own Political Co-operation, featured in the 57th volume of the International Affairs journal, series of 1981.

The usage of so few literary sources could negatively impact the credibility of the final product. Nevertheless, looking through different lenses, the limited data source could enhance the article's credibility in the meaning that the information is retrieved through direct observation, and that the findings are not biased by the personal opinions of other researchers.

C. Data Source

In conducting the research on the security policies implemented by the European Union, several sources will be assessed. What it is however important to note is that while the sources to be hereby presented do indeed represent the backbone of the actual research, once the process commences, it is possible for new materials to be included, in order to answer new questions, as they emerge. These being said, it is crucial to present some of the actual sources to be consulted:

Europa, Gateway to the European Union, http://europa.eu/index_en.htm, the official portal of the EU, which will offer first hand information on the member states, their individual stands relative to security and so on Data on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) from various sources, including the official websites of the governments of the EU member states, such as http://formin.finland.fi/Public/default.aspx?nodeid=15628&contentlan=2&culture=en-U.S., the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Articles from specialized journals and magazines dealing with the impact of the three variables onto the dependent variable. These three variables, as previously mentioned, refer to the cooperation between states, measured in terms of the relations and the cooperation between the institutions of the EU member states in security affairs; the international context assessed relative to the state of the political and social context as well as the reaction of other powers to conflicts; and the internal features of the EU member states, assessed in terms of internal governmental structures or national interests.

As mentioned throughout the first chapter, the research will commence at the premises that the independent variables -- cooperation between UE member states, the international context and the internal characteristics within the country -- all generate impacts upon the state and development of European security policies. The main hypotheses to reveal the relationship are as follows:

(1) Security policy development and implementation is enforced when member states of the European Union reveal greater levels of cooperation; when the cooperation levels are decreased, security policy is low. Furthermore, the extension of this hypothesis is that collaboration fosters a peaceful, diplomatic and constructive approach to international conflicts, and implements armed intervention only as a last resort

(2) the second hypothesis is that European security policy is influenced by the general state of the international context. As long as there is peace or as long as the conflicts occur in geographically distant locations, the European Union will tend to remain aside. This reaction will be enhanced by an international community which does not react. If on the other hand the international community reveals a strong reaction to a conflict, the European Union will stand increased chances of becoming involved in conflict resolution through security policies

(3) Finally, the third hypothesis sees that the overall approach of the EU to security policy is pegged to the internal characteristics of each country. For instance, strong and developed countries might not desire to become involved in international conflicts, whereas smaller and weaker states would consider becoming the military allies of the U.S. For instance, in order to satisfy their own needs. In all, the European Union's security policy will depend on the individual interests of the member states.


Cornish, P., European Security: The End of Architecture and the New NATO, International Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 4, October 1996, pp.751-769, Published by Blackwell Publishing

Hurd, D., Developing the Common Foreign and Security Policy, International Affairs, Vol. 70, No. 3, July 1994, pp. 421-428, Published by Blackwell Publishing

Koenig-Archibugi, M., Explaining Government Preferences for Institutional Change in EU Foreign and Security Policy, International Organization, Vol. 58, No. 1, 2004, pp.137-174, Published by Cambridge University Press

Sources Used in Document:

references for Institutional Change in EU Foreign and Security Policy, International Organization, Vol. 58, No. 1, 2004, pp.137-174, Published by Cambridge University Press

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