EU Security Policy regarding China. Its Nature and the Reasons for its continuous Stability, 1995-2014

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2016-02-04
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Politikwissenschaft
Advisor: Diez, Thomas (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2015-10-22
DDC Classifikation: 300 - Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
320 - Political science
Keywords: Europäische Union , Außenpolitik , Sicherheitspolitik , China , Poststrukturalismus , Diskursanalyse , Sicherheit
Other Keywords:
EU Foreign and Security Policy
Foreign Policy Analysis
Discourse Analysis
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The scholarly literature on EU security policy regarding China reveals a remarkable shortcoming: The concept of security is taken for granted and the discussions of the last decades in the field of International Security Studies are practically ignored. This lack of conceptual clarity leads to contradictory verdicts on the nature of EU security policy regarding China as well as to a lack of consensus whether or not this policy has changed during the years between 2005 and 2008. Therefore, this thesis sets out to address two research questions. First: What is EU security policy regarding China and how can we analytically and conceptually capture it? And second, based on previous empirical research which suggested a continuity of the policy: Why has the EU’s security policy regarding China remained continuously stable over the last 20 years? The thesis will address these questions in the framework of a poststructuralist discourse-analytical approach. First, four ideal-types of security are developed which serve as ‘analytical lenses’ for the reconstruction of the EU’s security discourse regarding China. It will be shown that the EU’s security policy regarding China can be labeled as liberal-relational security policy, which is marked by efforts to reconcile contradictory interests and to manage relationships. In a second step, the continuous stability of this liberal-relational security policy is explained by constellations of discursive constructions of security between the EU-level and the so-called ‘big three’ member states United Kingdom, France and Germany. The relational security discourses in the three member states reinforce the liberal-relational security discourse on EU-level instead of challenging it. Hence, this thesis argues that there has been no change but, instead, continuity in the EU’s security policy regarding China over the last two decades.

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