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Being Neighbours: Rhetoric and Legitimacy in the European Neighbourhood Policy
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the idea of “neighborliness” as contained in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). I will confront the official EU policy discourse with a review of the meaning of neighborhood and neighborly relations as a variation of close association between social actors in general and states in particular. My point of departure is the claim that the adoption of a concept and discourse of neighborhood in EU’s relations with its near abroad is both significant and consequential, and therefore in need of analysis and interpretation. Significant because the adoption of the neighborhood discourse is a deliberate choice that indicates and implies commitment to further values and ideas of how the EU should conduct its foreign relations. Consequential because the choice and use of a suggestive group of concepts centered on the idea and image of “the good neighbor” is likely to raise and define expectations among actors, thus affecting the legitimacy of the policy.

Accordingly, this is not an analysis of policy but of ideas, based on the presumption that the coherence and intelligibility of guiding ideas are essential for the legitimacy of the poli- cy itself. But the meaning and significance of a proclaimed policy of neighborhood is only partially determined by the authors of that policy. Bringing the concept of neighborhood into the field of foreign policy-making is to open up an interpretative space where different expectations and understandings meet, but don’t necessarily merge. Thus referring to neighborhood as the defining element of external policy raises questions not only about the contents of this policy but more importantly about what kind of relationship and asso- ciation are envisaged, and made possible.

The following questions will be addressed. First of all: What is the EU idea of neighbor- hood and neighborly relations? This is not primarily a question about the content and de- sign of the policy in terms of action plans and programs; it is a question about the intended and implied value basis of the policy. In the declared rationale of the ENP, what is the ex- pressed or suggested meaning of neighborhood and neighborliness? Has this idea changed over time? And second: Is the EU idea of neighborhood and neighborly relations compatible with and understandable in light of normative standards of neighborhood and neighborli- ness? 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137349OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-137349DiVA: diva2:1095453
Conference
Paper presented at the EUSA Fifteenth Biennial Conference, May 4-6, 2017, Miami, Florida.
Available from: 2017-05-15 Created: 2017-05-15 Last updated: 2017-06-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf