International Relations and the European Union: Themes and Issues

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, Sophie Vanhoonacker - Kormoss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The European Union (EU) is now routinely studied as an international actor, but it is important to make the linkage between the Union’s internal processes of integration and policymaking and the development of international relations more generally. This means that established concepts and frameworks in International Relations should be brought together with the approaches from Comparative Politics and Public Policy that have characterized the study of the EU. In this way, the development of the EU as a system of international relations in itself can be related analytically to the place it occupies in the processes of international relations, and to its position as a ‘power’ in the international arena. Such an analysis facilitates an understanding both of the ways in which the EU produces international action and of the ways in which the international dimension enters into EU policymaking, and can help in the identification of key elements of change in the EU’s international position. This is particularly important in the context of the multiple crises which have affected the Union in the last decade, from the eurozone crisis to the Ukraine, from Euroscepticism (most dramatically expressed in Brexit) to migration and the Covid-19 pandemic, all of which have had a major international dimension.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Relations and the European Union
EditorsC. Hill, M. Smith, S. Vanhoonacker
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780192897343
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2023

Cite this