EU Foreign Policy and Crisis Management Operations: Power, purpose and domestic politics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

EU Foreign Policy and Crisis Management Operations

Power, purpose and domestic politics, 1st Edition

By Benjamin Pohl


230 pages

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pub: 2015-07-23
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This bookexplores the drivers of the EU’s recent forays into peace- and state-building operations.

Since the Union’s European (now Common) Security and Defence Policy (ESDP/CSDP) became operational in 2003, the EU has conducted more than 20 civilian and military operations that broadly served to either deter aggression in host countries, and/or to build or strengthen the rule of law. This sudden burst of EU activity in the realm of external security is interesting from both a scholarly and a policy perspective. On one hand, institutionalised cooperation in the field of foreign, security and defence policy challenges the mainstream in IR theory which holds that in such sovereignty-sensitive areas cooperation would necessarily be limited. On the other hand, the sheer quantity of operations suggests that the ESDP may represent a potentially significant feature of global governance.

In order to understand the drivers behind CSDP, EU Foreign Policy and Crisis Management Operations analyses the policy output in this area, including the operations conducted in the CSDP framework. Up until now, many studies inferred the logic behind CSDP from express intentions, institutional developments and (the potential of) pooled capabilities. By mining the rich data that CSDP operations represent in terms of the motives and ambitions of EU governments for the CSDP, this book advances our understanding of the framework at large.

This book will be of much interest to students of European Security, EU policy, peacebuilding, statebuilding, and IR.


‘Rejecting the realist, normative and integrationist explanations for CSDP, Pohl identifies the primary driver behind the EU's security and defence policy as domestic politics. This is an important, challenging and original work which scholars will discuss for years to come.’ Jolyon Howorth, Yale University

‘EU Foreign Policy and Crisis Management Operations provides the best diplomatic history to date of the political debates and intergovernmental bargaining processes behind the main crisis management operations conducted by the Union. Extremely well written, it uses this account of what the EU has done to compare and assess the explanatory power of existing theoretical approaches. This original angle results in a comprehensive account of the drivers behind - and a balanced and persuasive interpretation of - the Common Security and Defence Policy as we know it. Anyone interested in EU foreign policy, or indeed contemporary foreign and security policies, should definitely read it.’ Antonio Missiroli, Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies

'EU Foreign Policy and Crisis Management Operations is a tour de force of CSDP scholarship. It eschews conventional International Relations theory expectations of externally-driven conceptions of EU foreign policy for domestic explanations, and does this exceptionally well.' Neil Winn, E-IR

'This book will be a useful addition to the bibliographies of students of the EU and its foreign and defence policies, and might make a few policy-makers sit up and question certain basic assumptions about what makes the CSDP tick.' Spyros Economides, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

'In conclusion, although the simple exposition and the distinct progression of the sections throughout the book may appear rather didactical, the innovative perspective chosen, together with the comprehensive approach that carefully balances theoretical, historical and political analyses, make this work stimulating reading. It can only be recommended to all students in international relations and European studies seeking a reliable instrument for achieving a deeper understanding of the CSDP framework.'Carlo Andrea d’Addetta

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. CSDP Operations and International Relations Theories 3. Studying CSDP Operations 4. Bosnia 5. Kosovo 6. Afghanistan 7. Chad 8. CSDP Operations and Cross-National Preferences 9. Conclusion

About the Author

Benjamin Pohl was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Aberdeen and has a PhD in International Relations from Leiden University. He now works for the Berlin-based think tank adelphi research.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in European Security and Strategy

The aim of this series is to bring together the key experts on European security from the academic and policy worlds, and assess the state of play of the EU as an international security actor. The series explores the EU, and its member states, security policy and practices in a changing global and regional context. While the focus is on the politico-military dimension, security is put in the context of the holistic approach advocated by the EU.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security