The fall, and rise, of civilian power Europe?

Richard Whitman

Research output: Working paper / PreprintDiscussion paper


The central focus of this paper is the concept of ‘civilian power Europe’, which has been associated with the characterisation and examination of the international role of the EU for almost thirty years. The paper outlines the notion of civilian power Europe as originally formulated, examines how the idea has been used and adapted (or refuted) across time, and explores whether the idea has continuing utility in the early twenty-first century. Central to this analysis is a consideration of whether the conception of civilian power Europe was undermined by the creation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the subsequent development of the Common European Security and Defence Policy. The paper concludes that civilian power Europe still has empirical and theoretical purchase when the EU is considered in the context of the contemporary international relations of Europe. It demonstrates the need to develop a clear conception of the international capabilities of the EU if appropriate forms of understanding of the international role of the EU are to be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAustralian National University
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002


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