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The EU as an international security actor after Lisbon: finally a green light for a holistic approach?

Zwolski, Kamil (2012) The EU as an international security actor after Lisbon: finally a green light for a holistic approach? Cooperation and Conflict, 47, (1), pp. 68-87. (doi:10.1177/0010836711433126).

Record type: Article


This article argues that a holistic approach is important when studying the European Union’s (EU) role as an international security actor, but at the same time it identifies problems in adopting such a comprehensive research agenda. The holistic approach entails that the research must include ‘new’ security problems, such as climate change, but also relevant policies and instruments outside the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). However, owing to conceptual, legal and political obstacles, this has been difficult to achieve; as a consequence, existing research on the EU as an international security actor tends to narrow down the focus to just one framework: the CSDP and its operations. This may lead to a distorted image, because the EU’s role in international security surpasses any single policy framework. The contribution of this article is twofold. First, it sets the framework for the comprehensive research agenda concerning the EU as an international security actor. Second, it identifies key obstacles that are making this holistic approach methodologically and conceptually difficult. In this context, the Lisbon Treaty, formally abandoning the pillar structure of the EU, provides an opportunity to mitigate at least some of these roadblocks.

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Published date: March 2012
Keywords: climate security, common security and defence policy, european union, holistic approach, international security actor, piracy, somalia
Organisations: Politics & International Relations


Local EPrints ID: 342571
ISSN: 0010-8367
PURE UUID: 358b92c9-2255-4a5c-aae0-058ad3311f6a

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Date deposited: 10 Sep 2012 10:21
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:28

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Author: Kamil Zwolski

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