Developing a ‘Comprehensive Approach’ to International Security: Institutional Learning and the CSDP

Michael E. Smith

in Constructing a Policy-Making State?

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604104
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741531 | DOI:
Developing a ‘Comprehensive Approach’ to International Security: Institutional Learning and the CSDP

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The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has been one of the most active areas of European foreign policy in recent years, and has launched over 20 foreign security operations since 2003. However, as the EU treaties are fairly limited in describing how the CSDP is supposed to operate, the EU has had to engage in a high degree of institutional improvisation in attempting to implement CSDP operations. This development demands further examination in light of not only the growing ambitions of the EU itself but also in terms of the increasing demands for security assistance placed on a variety of IOs, such as the UN, NATO, and the OSCE. This chapter examines these processes of institutional learning and change, paying close attention to several key CSDP operations that involve a mix of civilian and military tools; this type of integrated or ‘comprehensive approach’ is in fact rapidly becoming a hallmark of CSDP operations and may yield useful lessons for other attempts at crisis intervention and state-building. This is a critical question not only for European affairs but also for scholars of world politics and international development in light of recent experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Liberia, and elsewhere.

Keywords: institutional learning; organizational learning; European foreign policy; European Security and Defence Policy; common Security and Defence Policy

Chapter.  7720 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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