Progressive realism and the EU’s international actorness: Towards a grand strategy?

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Abstract: The EU lacks a coherent strategy to guide its international actions. This is a problem that has been amply discussed in both academic and policy-making circles, but that remains to be fully addressed. The December 2013 European Council recognised the issue, and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini is in charge of a strategic review that will lead to a global strategy by June 2016. Most arguments in favour of a grand strategy rely on utilitarian arguments that highlight the EU’s potential for a more efficient foreign policy. By linking a progressive realist approach to the importance of an EU grand strategy, this article intends to demonstrate the normative need for such a guiding document. As it will be argued, a grand strategy is a necessary step in the consolidation of the EU as a pluralist post-national polity that has in the fulfilment of its citizens’ interests its raison d’être.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-454
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016


  • Classical realism
  • European external relations
  • European security
  • grand strategy
  • normative power Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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