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The European Union and Its Power over Opinion: What Can Belarus Tell Us About the European Identity?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By heronm
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Pages 55
The European Union and its power over opinion: what can Belarus tell us about the European identity?

Contents

Abstract Page 4
Introduction ` Page 5

Chapter 1: Constructing a European identity Page 8
Chapter 2: The European Union as a normative actor Page 21
Chapter 3: The Belarusian problem Page 30

Conclusion Page 49

Bibliography Page 52

Abstract

Europe has embarked upon an unprecedented process of state integration witnessing the widespread deferral of policy making to intergovernmental institutions. The European Union’s institutionalism has facilitated an assimilation of values into an increasingly coherent, if complex regional identity. A normative self-conception has emerged that Brussels has sought to project onto its external relations through the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Brussels increasingly considers itself a transformative actor in global politics offering an alternative to great power realpolitik.
This paper finds that while European multilateralism offers an environment conducive to a normative foreign policy, the extent to which it is able to exert any ideational influence is constrained by the level of engagement it is willing to pursue. Europe maintains a policy of isolating the Lukashenko regime and has failed to engage Belarusian civil society. As a result it has had a negligible impact on Belarusian political culture. Europe’s failure to adequately engage Belarus also suggests a contradiction within the European identity construction.

Introduction

Since the establishment of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Europe has sought to play an increasingly active role in global affairs. It has demonstrated a growing confidence in its unique political union that has, so far, resisted being undermined by its economics. This union has been founded...

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