Normative Power Europe or Capability-Expectations Gap? The Performativity of Concepts in the Study of European Foreign Policy

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The article argues that the view of theories as constitutive of their object of study is usefulfor reflecting on the role of theories in the analysis of European foreign policy. A key concept used to study the constitutive role of theories is performativity (Derrida, 1988). The article illustrates its relevance through a study of the use of the concept “Capability-Expectations Gap”. On the basis of this study, the article also makes the point that, contrary to Cebeci´s (2012) argument, research on European foreign policy does not unambiguously
construct the EU as an `Ideal Power Europe’ (of which Normative Power Europe is a part) as the use of the Capability-Expectations Gap concept does not draw on the ”Ideal Power Europe” discourse. The concept is mainly used as a critical label to describe EU foreign policy and applications of the concept end up by concluding that the EU is an international actor with quasi-permanent shortcomings.
TidsskriftJournal of Common Market Studies
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 1 nov. 2019

ID: 225284441