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Why study EU foreign policy at all? A response to Keuleers, Fonck, and Keukeleire

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In an important article on the state of EU foreign policy research, Keuleers, Fonck and Keukeleire show that academics prefer the study of the EU foreign policy system and EU implementation over the consequences of EU foreign policy for recipient countries. While the article is empirical, based on a dataset of 451 published articles on EU foreign policy, the normative message is that it is time to stop with “navel-gazing” and pay more attention to those on the receiving end of EU foreign policy. We welcome this contribution, but wonder why certain research questions have been privileged over others. We argue that this has primarily to do with the predominant puzzles of the time. We also invite Keuleers, Fonck and Keukeleire to make a theoretical case for a research agenda with more attention for outside-in approaches. We conclude by briefly reflecting on future research agendas in EU foreign policy.

    Research areas

  • European Union, foreign policy, research agenda, theory, NORMATIVE POWER EUROPE, INTERNATIONAL-RELATIONS, CONTRADICTION, SERVICE, TERMS


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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280–286
Number of pages7
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017