Decentring without recentering: rethinking Member States' role in shaping a decentred European foreign policy through the cases of gender and religion

01 January 2024 → 31 December 2027
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • European union politics
    • Institutions and regimes
    • International and comparative politics not elsewhere classified
    • Political theory
European Union European Foreign Policy Decentring
Project description

Over the past decades, the European Union (EU) has suffered from an evident bias, defining itself as an
actor bearing a ‘mission civilisatrice’ towards ‘the Rest’. However, it has become increasingly evident that
the EU has to face the challenges of understanding and re-defining its role as no longer ‘at the centre’, but
also acknowledging the historical and colonial legacies which are the direct product of a formerly
Eurocentric world order. This recognition is even more urgent in the context of the EU’s foreign policymaking, looking also at Member States as fundamental actors in this process. This research project aims
at addressing this gap, through a conceptual reflection around decentring foreign policy at its inception,
meaning the process of Member States’ preference formation, and at the European foreign policy level.
The study will focus on five Member States (Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, and Malta) and look at their
preference formation in two instances: the listing of Hamas as a terrorist organisation in 2007, and the
promotion of gender rights in Egypt after 2015. It will then move on to analyse the re-negotiation of these
preferences at the EU level.