EU Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management: Roles, Institutions and Policies

E Book, Review Gross, Ana Juncos, London Routledge, Daniela Irrera
After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union (EU) is still consolidating its existing instruments and institutions, producing results which may vary according to the sensitiveness of policies. Eva Gross and Ana Juncos explore EU conflict prevention and crisis management, challenging the current research and aiming at pushing scholars to advance the level of the present analysis. Their volume collects articles presented during events promoted within the UACES-funded
more » ... Forum Specialist Group on European Union Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management. Therefore, it offers a wide range of perspectives and ideas, while maintaining a homogenous theoretical background, based on International Relations and European Studies. The book begins by clarifying the aims and methodology. The main point is that, over the years, the EU has turned its initial role, based on aid and assistance, into a more structured and politicised strategic role, as witnessed by the 25 peace missions deployed even outside the EU. This can be seen particularly through two main aspects that contributed to enhance the EU crisis management capacity: firstly, the coherence of policy instruments used by member states; secondly, the increasing linkages with other international organisations, in the context of multilateralism, and the necessity for coordination on the ground for avoiding overlapping and duplications. The book is organised around three themes: the roles, conceived as "a pattern of expected or appropriate behaviour determined both by an actor's self-image and the role of expectations of other actors" (p. 8) to analyse the nature of the EU as an international player; the institutions, in order to examine the EU foreign policy as "process rather than substance" (p. 10); the policies, aiming at stressing how the EU uses "different policy instruments in different geographical scenarios" (p. 12). As a whole, the book proposes an enriching platform for debates and improvements. The first theme includes two chapters, discussing the EU identity as international actor and its capacity to promote effective multilateralism. Kurowska and Seitz (chap. 2) use a heuristic perspective for studying the role played by the EU towards other actors. They first explore the role approach, focusing on the expectations made by other actors; then introduce the concept of multilateralism, which has changed the meaning of cooperation into a structured set of shared norms, principles and practices. This led the two authors to