Regulating Geopolitical Space: EU Interaction with East Africa
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Relations with developing countries have been a field of collective European policy for more than fifty years. Yet, European development policy remains fragmented; conducted on different levels through a variety of actors with multiple instruments applied in various policy fields. Articulations of Europe's collective role in the world first emerged in the 1970s under the idea of Europe as a civilian power (Duchene 1972, 1973b). These initial elaborations have served as a key point of departure in political and academic debates on the international identity and role of an integrated/integrating Europe (see for example Solana 2002; Ferrero- Waldner 2007; also Manners 2002; Hettne and Soderbaum 2005; Telo 2006; Lucarelli 2007). However, Europe's relations with developing countries have neither received adequate conceptual nor empirical attention in these debates. This thesis therefore aims to address these gaps by exploring the spaces of interaction between the EU and the Republic of Kenya, the East African Community and the African Union. I argue that regulating spaces of interaction has always been a key element of the European project, both internally and externally. These regulation attempts resulted in the construction of a particular version of European 'space', operating through multiple structures, processes and flows that have significantly shaped the EU's external relations. In order to explore an aspect of these external relations - development policy - this thesis pursues a threedimensional approach addressing constructions, projections and perceptions of such European 'space' in East Africa. I demonstrate how key assumptions about geopolitical space and the international system made in civilian power debates can be theoretically informed and interrogated by drawing on critical geopolitics and allied work. Furthermore, I argue that the failure to engage critically with the EU's relations with developing countries and external perceptions thereof, both in the civilian power discourse and on the part of European policy makers, has created a civilian/power dilemma. In so doing this thesis contributes conceptually and empirically to a more comprehensive understanding of Europe's collective role in the world and as a development actor.
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