1st Edition

Commercial Realism and EU Trade Policy Competing for Economic Power in Asia and the Americas

By Katharina L. Meissner Copyright 2018
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The European Union (EU) is at the forefront of engaging in external trade relations outside of the World Trade Organization (WTO) with entire regions and economic powerhouses. Understanding why and how the EU engages in one of the most active fields of external relations is crucial.

    This book fills a gap in the literature by analysing motives on the modes – bilateralism, inter-regionalism, or multilateralism - of EU external trade relations towards regional organizations in Asia and Latin America outside of the WTO. In particular, it examines why the EU turned from interregional to bilateral external trade relations towards these world regions – a question that is, to date, under-researched. By developing and testing an original approach rooted in realist theorizing coined ‘commercial realism’, it examines systematically the explanatory power of commercial realism against liberal-institutionalist approaches dominant in the literature on EU external relations through five in-depth case studies.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars and students in EU Politics/Studies, EU external relations, inter-regionalism and more broadly to International Relations and International Political Economy.

    Part I: Theory, Hypotheses and Process-tracing  1. Introduction: Designing European Union Trade Policy  2. Theorizing European Union Trade Policy  Part II: World Regions in European Union Trade Policy  3. The European Union in Latin America in Light of United States’ Dominance  4. The European Union and Southeast Asia in the Shadow of China’s Hegemony  5. European Union External Trade Relations and its Partner Regions  Part III: Comparison and Conclusion  6. Economic Power and European Union Trade Policy


    Katharina L. Meissner is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for European Integration Research EIF at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her work has been published in a number of journals such as the European Foreign Affairs Review, the Journal of Common Market Studies, and the Journal of European Integration.