The Special Issue consolidates new approaches to the study of the EU’s role in the eastern neighbourhood and beyond, informed by post-structuralist traditions in international relations. More specifically, by revisiting the European Neighbourhood Policy’s agenda from the conceptual perspective of ‘the political’ and redefining the notions of ‘othering’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘normalisation’, this volume renders a new and much-needed theoretical and empirical outlook onto the policy developments and their practices. By unpacking and connecting security, regional, institutional, normative and sector-thematic policy dimensions, the book seeks to re-politicise the agenda and re-focus policy revision on understanding the fundamentals of power relations when applied to the EU external relations. In light of the compounding crises, external and internal, one can no longer afford to simply tinker around the edges of the policy content and instruments. A more radical theoretical undertaking is overdue, to re-shape, re-define and re-centre the EU relations with the eastern region especially, put in the context of the new EU’s Global Security Strategy, and the new aspirations for the 2017 European Neighbourhood summit.
The chapters originally published as a special issue in East European Politics.
1. Eastern Partnership: bringing “the political” back in
2. Bringing “the political” back into European security: challenges to the EU’s ordering of the Eastern Partnership
3. How “the political” can make the European external action service more effective in the eastern region
4. Exploring the European Union’s rationalities of governing: the case of cross-border mobility in the eastern partnership
5. Differentiation through bargaining power in EU–Azerbaijan relations: Baku as a tough negotiator
Eske van Gils
6. Europe and the political: from axiological monism to pluralistic dialogism