'This handbook is encyclopedic in its breadth and range … Each of the chapters is theoretically sensitive, and has depth, detail, and interpretive analysis sometimes lacking in the empirical tradition of EU studies. This study of the EU will be essential reading for years to come.'
John Gaffney, Professor of Politics, Co-Director, Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University
The role of the European Union in global politics has been of growing interest over the past decade. The EU is a key player in global institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and NATO. It continues to construct an emerging identity and projects its values and interests troughout contemporary international relations. The capacity of the EU to both formulate and realise its goals, however, remains contested. Some scholars claim the EU's 'soft power' attitude rivals that of the USA's 'hard power' approach to international relations. Others view the EU as insufficiently able to produce a co-ordinated position to project upon global politics. Regardless of the position taken within this debate, the EU's relationaship with its external partners has an increasingly important impact upon economic, political and security concerns on an international level. Trade negotiations military interventions, democracy promotion, international development and responses to the global economic crisis have all witnessed the EU playing a centrale role. This has seen the EU become both a major force in contemporary institutions of global governance and a template for supranational governance that might influence other attempts to construct regional and global institutions.
This volume bings together a collection of leading EU scholars to provide a state-of-the-art overview covering these and other debates relating to the EU's role in contemporary global governance. The Handbook is divided into four main sections:
Part I: European studies and global governance – provides an overview and critical assessment of the leading theoretical approaches to the EU's role in global governance.
Part II: Institutions – examines the role played by the key EU institutions in pursuing a role for the EU in contemporary international relations.
Part III: Policy and issue areas – explores developments within particular policy sectors, assessing the different impact that the EU has had in different issue areas, including foreign and security policy, environmental policy, common commercial policy and the Common Agricultural Policy.
Part IV: The global multilevel governance complex and the EU – focuses on the relationship between the EU and the institutions, regions and countries with which it forms a global multilevel governance complex.
The editors are Jens-Uwe Wunderlich (Aston University) and David J. Bailey (University of Birmingham). Jens-Uwe Wunderlich's research and teaching focuses on international relations theory, European integration and globalization and on comparative regionalism; he has recently published Regionalism, Globalisation and International Order – Europe and Southeast Asia (Ashgate) and A Dictionary of Globalization (Routledge, 2007). David J. Bailey has published on trends in European governance in the Journal of European Public Policy, Comparative European Politics, and Journal of European Social Policy.