Security Cooperation in EU-China Relations: Towards Interest Convergence?
Thomas Christiansen (Maastricht University)
Over the past decade, the EU and China have expanded their relations beyond a focus on economic and trade issues into the sphere of security. Moreover, security can be seen to encompass a variety of policy domains—from traditional, military security to non-traditional human security. The record of actual EU-China cooperation has been mixed across policy domains with distinct temporal trajectories. Our research question considers why security cooperation has advanced in certain policy domains while it has faltered in others. Based on expert survey of European and Chinese scholars, we contrast interest-driven and experience-driven explanations. The analysis identifies a number of events in EU-China cooperation that have been critical to initiate and enhance cooperation in specific domains. Overall, the experience with actual cooperation, rather than declared intentions, best explains patterns of cooperation over time.
Thomas Christiansen holds a Chair in European Institutional Politics in the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He is Executive Editor (with Simon Duke) of the Journal of European Integration, co-editor (with Sophie Vanhoonacker) of the ‘European Administration Governance' book series at Palgrave Macmillan and member of the board of the Research Committee on European Unification of IPSA. He has published widely on different aspects of European integration.