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International Relations and the European Union

International Relations and the European Union (4th edn)

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker-Kormoss
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date: 24 April 2024

p. 453. The European Union and Theories of International Relationslocked

p. 453. The European Union and Theories of International Relationslocked

  • Filippo Andreatta
  •  and Lorenzo Zambernardi

Abstract

This chapter looks at theoretical answers to two major questions arising from the emergence of the European Union (EU) on the world stage. Firstly, what have the causes of European integration been in general, and in the foreign policy field in particular? Taking note of the fact that prevailing schools of international politics assume that states do not easily give up their sovereignty, classical and recent theoretical approaches to International Relations (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) have struggled to find the motives for integration and incorporate them in their overall frameworks. Secondly, the chapter investigates theoretical interpretations of the consequences of European integration for international relations in Europe and in the wider world. The chapter concludes by focusing on the idea and reality of the EU as a major power in international politics.

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