European integration and foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe: the cases of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania

Denca, Sorin Stefan (2011). European integration and foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe: the cases of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis examines the impact of Europeanization on the foreign policy of the new member states of the European Union, using as case studies Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. It asks what the extent of Europeanization of foreign policy is and whether and to what extent there has been divergence in the way in which the new member states have responded to the similar constraints and opportunities of the European integration. Insofar as divergence can be identified, a third research question asks why there is policy divergence. It argues that the governmental politics and the politics of national identity play a key role as mediating factors for the Europeanization of the system of policy making, the process of elite socialization and the conduct of foreign policy itself. Three critical international events are used as sub-case studies in order to assess the extent of Europeanization of foreign policy of the CEE counties: the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, the NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia in 1999 and the Kosovo declaration of independence in 2008. The study’s findings suggest that the pressures of Europeanization leads to convergence in some policy areas, but domestic factors such as governmental and national identity politics offer a more convincing explanation of divergence. Overall, Europeanization is uneven not only across issue-areas, but also across countries. The limits of convergence as an outcome of Europeanization and the persistence of diversity are therefore best accounted for by the diversity of domestic factors.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)


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