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EU's security first approach: relinquishing normative goals?

Monday December 4, 2017, at 13:30
Room Fred Halliday 24.133 (First floor). Mercè Rodoreda building 24
Research seminar

The paper explores the balance between normative and foreign policy goals in European Union’s (EU) peacebuilding policy. Whereas there have been swings between liberal and conservative approaches and much controversy around peacebuilding policy, the paper illustrates that there has been a consistent focus on building military-capable states that has at times overshadowed the goal of building good governed states that EU’s peacebuilding policy purports. This security first approach has the potential to undermine both EU’s security, political and normative goals raising several paradoxes. These include the jeopardising of the good governance agenda, the loss of some control and autonomy over security provision, and the redefinition of security in military terms, away from the human security agenda. The article is focused on recent developments in the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP), some aspects of the CSDP missions, the African Peace Facility and the new initiative to grant military support to third parties, the Capacity Building for support in Security and Development (CBSD). Thus though the EU is not relinquishing normative goals, these swings, controversies and paradoxes around peacebuilding demonstrate a lack of a coherent strategic framework that is impinging on both normative and foreign policy goals.

Marta Iñiguez de Heredia is Marie-Sklodowska Curie Fellow. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics. Prior to this position she has taught at the University of Cambridge, the LSE, Queen's University, Rouen Business School, Deakin University and La Trobe University. Her research interests intersect peace and conflict studies, African studies, historical sociology and practice theory in IR. This concerns in particular the practice of "post-conflict" statebuilding and everyday forms of resistance, the interconnection between micro and macro-level political orders, and the analysis of patterns of power during war and peace processes. Current research is focused on EU’s peace building policies in the Great Lakes, the militarisation of peacebuilding and political transitions through the emergence of African social movements.