The outlook for Europe’s external relations has never looked so uncertain in the post-cold war era. A series of internal and external shocks—from the Eurozone crisis to the UK’s Brexit referendum and civil wars and external interventions on Europe’s borders—have shaken the EU to its foundations. Against a backdrop of external insecurity and global power shifts abroad, and institutional crisis and strategic drift at home, this article introduces the main themes and questions that guide the contributions to this special issue: first, how have recent transformations of the international system—declining Western dominance, a shift from unipolarity to multipolarity, and the return of geopolitical competition—affected Europe’s search for stability, security and influence in global affairs? Second, how have external perceptions of the EU’s position, power and influence in global affairs changed in recent years, particularly in response to ongoing crises in the EU’s internal governance? And third, how can the EU respond to the dramatically altered external environment and newly arising threats, and to what extent does the new EU Global Strategy of 2016 meet the challenges that the continent faces?
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Bach, D., and A.L. Newman. 2007. The European regulatory state and global public policy: Micro-institutions, macro-influence. Journal of European Public Policy 14 (6): 827–846.
Ban, C., and M. Blyth. 2013. The BRICs and the Washington consensus: An introduction. Review of International Political Economy 20 (2): 241–255.
Bicchi, F. 2006. ‘Our size fits all’: Normative Power Europe and the Mediterranean. Journal of European public policy 13 (2): 286–303.
Bull, H. 1982. Civilian power Europe: A contradiction in terms? Journal of Common Market Studies 21 (2): 149–170.
Buzan, B., and G. Lawson. 2015. The global transformation: History, modernity and the making of international relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chaban, N., O. Elgström, S. Kelly, and L.S. Yi. 2013. Images of the EU beyond its borders: Issue-specific and regional perceptions of European Union Power and Leadership. Journal of Common Market Studies 51 (3): 433–451.
Chaban, N., and M. Holland. 2008. The European Union and the Asia-Pacific: Media, public and elite perceptions of the EU. London: Routledge.
Chaban, N., S. Kelly, and J. Bain. 2009. European Commission delegations and EU public policy: Stakeholders’ perceptions from the Asia-Pacific. European Foreign Affairs Review 14 (2): 271–288.
Cox, M. 2012. Power shifts, economic change and the decline of the West? International Relations 26 (4): 369–388.
Damro, C. 2015. Market power Europe: Exploring a dynamic conceptual framework. Journal of European Public Policy 22 (9): 1336–1354.
Diez, T., and I. Manners. 2007. Reflecting on Normative Power Europe. In Power in world politics, ed. F. Berenskoetter, and M.J. Williams, 173–188. London: Routledge.
Falkner, G. 2016. The EU’s current crisis and its policy effects: Research design and comparative findings. Journal of European Integration 38 (3): 219–235.
Falkner, R. 2007. The Political Economy of ‘Normative Power’ Europe: EU environmental leadership in international biotechnology regulation. Journal of European Public Policy 14 (4): 507–526.
Fioramonti, L., and S. Lucarelli. 2008. How do the others see us? European political identity and the external image of the EU. In The search for a European identity: Values, policies and legitimacy of the European Union, ed. F. Cerutti, and S. Lucarelli, 193–210. London: Routledge.
Fioramonti, L., and A. Poletti. 2008. Facing the giant: Southern perspectives on the European Union. Third World Quarterly 29 (1): 167–180.
Gillingham, J.R. 2016. The EU: An obituary. London: Verso.
Grugel, J.B. 2004. New regionalism and modes of governance—comparing US and EU Strategies in Latin America. European Journal of International Relations 10 (4): 603–626.
Haggard, S., and R.R. Kaufman. 2016. Democratization during the third wave. Annual Review of Political Science 19: 125–144.
Hill, C. 1993. The capability-expectations gap, or conceptualizing Europe’s international role. Journal of Common Market Studies 31 (3): 305–328.
Howorth, J., and A. Menon. 2015. Wake up, Europe! Global Affairs 1 (1): 11–20.
Hyde-Price, A. 2006. ‘Normative’ power Europe: A realist critique. Journal of European Public Policy 13 (2): 217–234.
Ikenberry, G.J. 2014. The illusion of geopolitics: The enduring power of the liberal order. Foreign Affairs 93: 80–90.
Inglehart, R., and P. Norris. 2016. Trump, Brexit, and the rise of populism: Economic have-nots and cultural backlash. HKS faculty research working paper series. RWP16-026. Cambridge, MA, Harvard Kennedy School.
Jopp, M., U. Diedrichs, and L. Kühnhardt. 2009. Learning from failure: The evolution of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy in the course of the Yugoslav crisis. Crises in European Integration: Challenges and responses. L. Kühnhardt, 95–108. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Kelley, J. 2006. New wine in old wineskins: Promoting political reforms through the new European Neighbourhood Policy. Journal of Common Market Studies 44 (1): 29–55.
Klaas, B. 2016. The despot’s accomplice: How the west is aiding and abetting the decline of democracy. Bloomsbury: Hurst.
Lavenex, S. 2004. EU external governance in ‘Wider Europe’. Journal of European public policy 11 (4): 680–700.
Layne, C. 2012. This time it’s real: The end of unipolarity and the Pax Americana. International Studies Quarterly 56 (1): 203–213.
Lefkofridi, Z., and P.C. Schmitter. 2015. Transcending or descending? European integration in times of crisis. European Political Science Review 7 (01): 3–22.
Lenz, T. 2012. Spurred emulation: The EU and regional integration in Mercosur and SADC. West European Politics 35 (1): 155–173.
Leonard, M. 2005. Why Europe will run the 21st century. New York: Fourth Estate.
Lucarelli, S. 2007. The European Union in the eyes of others: Towards filling a gap in the literature. European Foreign Affairs Review 12 (3): 249–270.
Lucarelli, S., and L. Fioramonti (eds.). 2010. External perceptions of the European Union as a global actor. Routledge: London.
Mahbubani, Kishore. 2008. The new Asian hemisphere: The irresistible shift of global power to the East. New York: Public Affairs.
Manners, I. 2002. Normative Power Europe: A contradiction in terms? Journal of Common Market Studies 40 (2): 235–258.
Manners, I. 2006. Normative Power Europe reconsidered: Beyond the crossroads. Journal of European Public Policy 13 (2): 182–199.
Menon, A., and J.P. Salter. 2016. Brexit: Initial reflections. International Affairs 92 (6): 1297–1318.
Merritt, G. 2016. Slippery slope: Europe’s troubled future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Müller, Patrick. 2016. EU foreign policy: No major breakthrough despite multiple crises. Journal of European Integration 38 (3): 359–374.
Müller, P., Z. Kudrna, and G. Falkner. 2014. EU–global interactions: Policy export, import, promotion and protection. Journal of European Public Policy 21 (8): 1102–1119.
Niemann, A., and C. Bretherton. 2013. EU external policy at the crossroads: The challenge of actorness and effectiveness. International Relations 27 (3): 261–275.
Onar, N.F., and K. Nicolaïdis. 2013. The decentring agenda: Europe as a post-colonial power. Cooperation and Conflict 48 (2): 283–303.
Posen, B.R. 2009. Emerging multipolarity: Why should we care? Current History 108 (721): 347–352.
Rachman, G. 2016. Easternisation: War and peace in the Asian century. London: Bodley Head.
Rifkin, J. 2004. The European dream: How Europe’s vision of the future is quietly eclipsing the American dream. New York: Penguin.
Schimmelfennig, F., and U. Sedelmeier. 2005. The Europeanization of central and eastern Europe. Ithica: Cornell University Press.
Sjursen, H. 2006. The EU as a ‘Normative’ Power: How can this be? Journal of European Public Policy 13 (2): 235–251.
Smith, K.E. 2005. Still ‘Civilian Power EU?’. European foreign policy unit working paper 2005/1, London School of Economics.
Smith, K.E. 2014. European Union foreign policy in a changing world. Cambridge: Polity.
Smith, M. 2013. Beyond the comfort zone: Internal crisis and external challenge in the European Union’s response to rising powers. International Affairs 89 (3): 653–671.
Telò, M. 2009. The European Union and global governance. London: Routledge.
Tocci, N. (ed.). 2008. Who is a normative foreign policy actor? The European Union and its global partners. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.
Tocci, N. 2014. The neighbourhood policy is dead. what’s next for european foreign policy along its arc of instability? IAI working papers 14, Instituto Affari Internazionali.
Torreblanca, J.I., and M. Leonard. 2013. The continent-wide rise of euroscepticism. European Council on Foreign Relations 79.
Williamson, J. 2012. Is the” Beijing Consensus” now dominant? Asia Policy 13 (1): 1–16.
Zakaria, Fareed. 2008. The post-American world and the rise of the rest. New York: Norton.
About this article
Cite this article
Falkner, R. Rethinking Europe’s external relations in an age of global turmoil: an introduction. Int Polit 54, 389–404 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0048-6
- European foreign policy
- EU Global Strategy
- European integration
- EU external relations