Researching European Foreign Policy: Some Fundamentals

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The emergence of European foreign policy (EFP) as a fairly distinct field of inquiry involves contributions from several traditions within political science: international relations, foreign policy analysis and European integration. This eclecticism however can make it extremely difficult to reach consensus on the fundamental definition and boundaries of the field. To help alleviate this problem, and to stimulate further thinking on the topic, this article address several fundamental questions of research design regarding positivist scholarly inquiry in this field. These include, inter alia, the problematisation of EFP as a research question, the role of independent and dependent variables and the role of systems and actors within the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Early online date5 Sept 2008
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • European foreign policy
  • EU foreign policy
  • foreign policy analysis
  • comparative foreign policy


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