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United in Diversity? - Explaining Member State Divisions over EU Sanctions against Russia

Gannedahl, Johan LU (2017) STVM25 20171
Department of Political Science
Abstract
Ever since the EU’s sanctions against Russia were imposed in 2014, the bloc has managed to keep a united stance outwards. Under the surface, the measures have however generated sharp divisions among some of the Member States, where one faction wants to scrap the sanctions, while another faction wants to see them expanded. Divisions of this proportion are unprecedented in the EU’s sanctions history, and quantitative comparisons of economic data have shown no explanatory value. With the aim of explaining these underlying divisions, this study instead proceeds from a qualitative approach, putting further emphasis on the Member States’ expressed outlooks. These outlooks stem from the scholarly debate on ideational and material perspectives in... (More)
Ever since the EU’s sanctions against Russia were imposed in 2014, the bloc has managed to keep a united stance outwards. Under the surface, the measures have however generated sharp divisions among some of the Member States, where one faction wants to scrap the sanctions, while another faction wants to see them expanded. Divisions of this proportion are unprecedented in the EU’s sanctions history, and quantitative comparisons of economic data have shown no explanatory value. With the aim of explaining these underlying divisions, this study instead proceeds from a qualitative approach, putting further emphasis on the Member States’ expressed outlooks. These outlooks stem from the scholarly debate on ideational and material perspectives in the CFSP – in its turn coming from a wider IR debate on constructivism and rationalism. Based on previous research, it is hypothesised that Member States in favour of the sanctions have an ideational outlook, while those against have a material outlook. The results however show that two out of three Member States in the pro-sanctions camp proceed from a material outlook, where concerns over military security are deemed more important than both ideational outlooks and existing economic ties. For the anti-sanctions faction, the hypothesis however holds true: All of the three Member States proceed from a material outlook, based on a prioritization of business ties and energy supplies. The divisions can therefore be said to be based on a clash between different material outlooks. In the concluding chapter, these results are discussed at three different levels of abstraction, showing inter alia that CFSP studies that neglect the Member State level of analysis might miss out on important inferences. (Less)
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author
Gannedahl, Johan LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVM25 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sanctions, EU-Russia relations, CFSP, constructivism, rationalism
language
English
id
8907520
date added to LUP
2017-06-27 15:02:32
date last changed
2017-06-27 15:02:32
@misc{8907520,
  abstract     = {Ever since the EU’s sanctions against Russia were imposed in 2014, the bloc has managed to keep a united stance outwards. Under the surface, the measures have however generated sharp divisions among some of the Member States, where one faction wants to scrap the sanctions, while another faction wants to see them expanded. Divisions of this proportion are unprecedented in the EU’s sanctions history, and quantitative comparisons of economic data have shown no explanatory value. With the aim of explaining these underlying divisions, this study instead proceeds from a qualitative approach, putting further emphasis on the Member States’ expressed outlooks. These outlooks stem from the scholarly debate on ideational and material perspectives in the CFSP – in its turn coming from a wider IR debate on constructivism and rationalism. Based on previous research, it is hypothesised that Member States in favour of the sanctions have an ideational outlook, while those against have a material outlook. The results however show that two out of three Member States in the pro-sanctions camp proceed from a material outlook, where concerns over military security are deemed more important than both ideational outlooks and existing economic ties. For the anti-sanctions faction, the hypothesis however holds true: All of the three Member States proceed from a material outlook, based on a prioritization of business ties and energy supplies. The divisions can therefore be said to be based on a clash between different material outlooks. In the concluding chapter, these results are discussed at three different levels of abstraction, showing inter alia that CFSP studies that neglect the Member State level of analysis might miss out on important inferences.},
  author       = {Gannedahl, Johan},
  keyword      = {sanctions,EU-Russia relations,CFSP,constructivism,rationalism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {United in Diversity? - Explaining Member State Divisions over EU Sanctions against Russia},
  year         = {2017},
}