Historical Institutionalism and the European Union's post-Cold War Foreign Policy Development

Marek Neuman*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    This paper maintains that Historical Institutionalism – with its emphasis on such concepts as path dependency, time, continuity and change, critical junctures, and unintended consequences – serves as a valuable theoretical tool in explaining the why and how of the European Union developing from a strictly economic union during the fi rst forty years of its existence towards a political union with a global foreign policy agenda in the post-Cold War period. Discussing the EU’s post-1989 foreign policy development and zooming in on the EU’s policy towards Eastern Europe to illustrate its argument, the paper argues that Brussels’ participation in global politics has for long been in the making. More specifi cally, four elements that have determined – and continue to do so – the EU’s foreign policy portfolio are fi rst, the successful economic integration in the fi rst forty years of the European Union’s existence; second, the logic of integration through institutionalization driving EU integration since 1952; third, the – at fi rst – informal European Political Cooperation witnessing
    the emergence of tacit norms and rules of conducting foreign policy coordination; and fourth,
    the rhetoric commitment to the region of Central and Eastern Europe pre-1989.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-86
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of International Analytics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

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