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Chapter

Cover Foundations of European Politics

11. Law-Making in Governments and Parliaments  

This chapter explores how political systems across Europe actually make policy and also how they change policy. It examines in detail how coalitions are formed and looks at how coalitions function. The chapter uses the theoretical lens of the Veto Players theory to consider how the nature of governments, and parties within governments, affect the type of policies that become law. It also looks at the ease with which governments can change existing policy. The chapter moves on to address the role of informal actors such as interest groups. Processes differ across different countries and at the European Union (EU) level and that is examined in this chapter as well.

Chapter

Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

6. Strategic Culture  

Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky

Strategic culture shapes national security concepts, military doctrines, organizational structures of the armed forces, weapon systems, styles of war, and almost every other aspect of a state’s defence policy and strategic behaviour. Nevertheless, it is challenging to define and identify strategic culture in a systematic way and multiple definitions of the concept are debated by scholars. It can also be difficult to isolate its impact on national strategy. The strategic culture paradigm has evolved to explore the ways in which multiple cultures—national culture, military culture, and the organizational cultures of key institutions—exist within security communities. While most scholars explore the strategic culture of states, others have examined whether a cohesive strategic culture can exist within non-state actors (e.g. the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)) and supranational actors (e.g. North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Union) as well.

Chapter

Cover International Relations of the Middle East

9. Security in the Middle East: Whose Security?  

Pinar Bilgin

This chapter takes a critical look at the question of security in the Middle East by asking whose security concerns have been principally addressed in the history of the modern region. It traces the origins of the invention of the Middle East in Britain’s colonial practices. It also reviews how the politics of the Cold War impinged on local dynamics, including the ways in which women were rendered insecure by virtue of dominant statist and top-down approaches to security. The chapter considers the wider implications of non-state actor activism for the future of regional security. It discusses the collaboration between like-minded policymakers and other elites in North America, Western Europe, and the Middle East that tilted the balance against civil society in the Arab World and made the life of the average Arab citizen a terrible field of insecurity.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

20. Acting for Europe: Reassessing the European Union’s Role in International Relations  

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker

This chapter summarizes major common findings of the volume. It also stressing the different approaches and specialist areas covered by the chapters. It looks at the European Union’s (EU’s) substantive impact (or lack of it) on world politics, which has grown steadily in broad terms albeit with obvious gaps and setbacks. The three lenses introduced in Part 1, whereby the EU is analysed as a system of international relations, as a participant in wider international processes, and finally as a power, are then revisited to make possible the overall conclusions. The first conclusion is that while the EU has its distinctive attributes it is now largely integrated into the academic subject of International Relations, rather than being confined to European Studies. The second concluding thought is that the EU has significant powers as well as a wide-ranging presence in the international system, even if it may not yet be termed a ‘power’ The next conclusion is that the accelerating processes of change underway in the international arena continue to pose new challenges both for the EU and for analysis. The final conclusion is that the series of challenges which the EU has faced since the financial crisis of 2008 have produced some proactive responses but have also exposed its weaknesses as a collective actor on the world stage. The latest of the challenges, the war in Ukraine, has provoked the EU into an unusually rapid, forceful and united response. Only time will tell if that can be maintained.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

3. Neofunctionalism  

Arne Niemann, Zoe Lefkofridi, and Philippe C. Schmitter

This chapter focuses on neofunctionalism, one of the earlier theories of regional integration. Neofunctionalist theory was first formulated in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but began to receive increasing criticism from the mid1960s, particularly because of several adverse empirical developments, the culmination of which was the Empty Chair crisis of 1965–66 when French President Charles de Gaulle effectively paralysed the European Community. With the resurgence of the European integration process in the mid1980s, neofunctionalism made a substantial comeback. After providing an overview of neofunctionalism’s intellectual roots, the chapter examines early neofunctionalism’s core assumptions and hypotheses, including its central notion of ‘spillover’. It then considers the criticisms that have been levelled against it before turning to later revisions of the theory. Finally, this chapter applies the theory critically to explain the nature and probable outcome of the sovereign debt crisis.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

11. Can Terrorism Be Rational?  

Max Abrahms

This chapter looks into the rationality of terrorism. It starts off by looking into the paradox of terrorism. Political scientists typically view terrorists as rational political actors. However, empirical research on terrorism suggests that terrorism is in fact an ineffective political tactic. Evidence indicates that in instances where there has been terrorist attacks on civilians, governments rarely grant concessions. This might explain why terrorism is often selected as a tactic only if alternative options are no longer viable. The chapter uses Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as case studies to examine broader patterns of terrorism. Knowing the priority of terrorists is vital for governments when considering counterterrorism actions. Having an understanding of the grievances of terrorists helps political actors predict which targets the terrorists will attack.

Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

4. Non-state actors  

This chapter focuses on non-state actors in global environmental governance. Non-state actors, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), corporations, and transnational networks, play an increasingly significant role in global environmental politics. Some of them, such as Greenpeace and Shell, became well known by communicating directly with the public or consumers. Others, such as the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education or the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, are less visible to the wider public but no less influential. The scope, diversity, preferences, methods of engagement, and contributions of non-state actors to global environmental governance are often overshadowed by a focus on state actors. The chapter sheds light on how non-state actors engage in global environmental governance and highlights how they shape the political landscape in this field.

Chapter

Cover Foundations of European Politics

3. Multilevel Politics in Europe  

Thsi chapter considers territory in European politics. The idea is that policy-making in Europe acts like a system of multilevel governance. Here, policy authority which exists at the national level, is increasingly being shared with institutions at the supranational European Union (EU) level and by regional governments at the subnational level. The chapter also looks at concepts such as pooling, delegation of policy authority, federalism, and decentralization. Although we tend to think of nation-states as the building blocks of modern politics, more and more, this chapter agues, we must consider how these so-called building blocks interact with each other and also what they themselves are made up of. This is where the term multilevel governance is relevant. This term characterizes the complex relationship of policy authority between political actors situated at different territorial levels of governance.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

12. Securitization Theory  

Catarina Thomson and Stephane Baele

This chapter introduces securitization theory, situating its intellectual roots and tracing its emergence and evolution as a framework for analysis, and spelling out its main concepts and dimensions. The chapter also presents four empirical cases in securitization research—migration, religion, the environment and climate change, and health (including how COVID-19 has been securitized). Finally, the chapter addresses the key criticisms and challenges that have been voiced against securitization theory. These are threefold—the theory has been said to lack coherence, the empirical methods used by securitization researchers have been claimed to lack rigor, and the normative and critical status of the framework has been debated.

Chapter

Cover Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Social Network Analysis  

The Significance of Relations

Jean-Frédéric Morin, Christian Olsson, and Ece Özlem Atikcan

This chapter studies Social Network Analysis (SNA), which is a methods toolbox for analysing the patterning of social ties and explaining how and why those patterns emerge and what consequences they have for social actors. Social networks are ubiquitous in the social world, either unfolding in face-to-face interactions or digitally. In recent decades, SNA has grown in popularity, appealing broadly to students interested in complex social structures. The recent availability of data based on digital traces of social relations (e.g. emails or social media profiles) has further prompted students to study these network structures. Analysing how actors are connected through other actors via paths may indicate how e.g. information or resources flow through the network via these ties.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

14. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on the concept of civil society, along with interest groups and the media. It first provides a background on the evolution of civil society and interest groups before discussing corporatism. In particular, it examines the ways in which civil society responds to state actors and tries to manoeuvre them into cooperation. This is politics from below. The chapter proceeds by considering the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ and the emergence of a school of ‘subaltern’ studies. It also explores the role of the media in political life and the impact of new communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones on politics. Finally, it evaluates some of the challenges presented by new media to civil society.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

6. Actors, structures, and foreign policy analysis  

Walter Carlsnaes

This chapter examines how actors and structures make foreign policy an extremely complicated field of study and how, in view of this complexity, these actors and structures have been treated in the literature on foreign policy analysis. It first provides a historical background on the field of foreign policy before discussing the role of actors and structures in ‘process’ and ‘policy’ approaches to foreign policy. In particular, it describes approaches to foreign policy based on a structural perspective, namely: realism, neoliberal institutionalism, and social constructivism. It then considers evaluates approaches from an actor-based perspective: cognitive and psychological approaches, bureaucratic politics approach, new liberalism, and interpretative actor perspective. The chapter also looks at the agency–structure problem and asks whether an integrated framework is feasible before concluding with a recommendation of how to resolve the former in terms of a constructive answer to the latter.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

14. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media  

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter focuses on the concept of civil society, along with interest groups and the media. It first provides a background on the evolution of civil society and interest groups before discussing corporatism. In particular, it examines the ways in which civil society responds to state actors and tries to manoeuvre them into cooperation. This is politics from below. The chapter proceeds by considering the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ and the emergence of a school of ‘subaltern’ studies. It also explores the role of the media in political life and the impact of new communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones on politics. Finally, it evaluates some of the challenges presented by new media to civil society.

Chapter

Cover The Institutions of the European Union

13. The institutions of the Common Foreign and Security Policy:  

between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism

Ana E. Juncos

This chapter examines the institutional arrangements in the European Union’s (EU’s) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The chapter first charts the historical development of this policy, with foreign policy cooperation being one of the last policy areas to emerge at the EU level. Thus, many of the institutions operating in this area have only been recently established, including the High Representative, the European External Action Service, and many of the administrative bodies supporting the implementation of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, which comprises the EU’s civilian and military operations. The chapter then analyses the main institutional actors involved in the CFSP, focusing on their ability to shape the decision-making and implementation of this policy. The following sections also examine the five dimensions of EU institutional politics and how these play out in this particular area, highlighting the key challenges the EU faces in becoming a fully fledged international actor.