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The EU and Sub-Saharan Africa: Developing the Strategic Culture of the Union’s Foreign Security and Defence Policy

Thursday January 27, 2011, from 13:30 to 15:30
Room 4 - IBEI
Research seminar
Richard Whitman (University of Bath)


The EU’s engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa through the panoply of instruments of its CFSP and ESDP has been a characteristic of the development of the Union’s foreign, security and defence policies since the 1990s. The article proceeds by examining how the EU’s engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa can be used to identify strands of developing EU Strategic Behaviour (SB) and Strategic Culture (SC). The article identifies three strands to the EU’s Strategic Behaviour and which derived from its definition of what constitute security threats, how these threats are characterised on the African continent, and how the EU has used its foreign, security and defence policy interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa to test and refine its policy instruments. The article identifies the strands of the EU’s Strategic Culture by examining both Strategic Declarations on Sub-Saharan Africa that have played a key role in defining policy infrastructure and the civil-military instruments that the EU has utilised. This article uses these aspects of EU policy to advance the argument that Sub-Saharan Africa presents a valuable case study through which to study the evolution of an embryonic strategic culture for the EU.