The governance of the European Union in its Eastern neighbourhood: the impact of the EU on Georgia

Pardo Sierra, Oscar (2011). The governance of the European Union in its Eastern neighbourhood: the impact of the EU on Georgia. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


Download (2MB)


The European Union (EU) has set itself ambitious objectives in order to transform its neighbourhood. It aims to induce domestic reforms in order to promote democracy, good governance and prosperity. Theoretical-oriented empirical analyses on the impact of the EU’s attempts to trigger institutional, regulatory and normative changes in domestic policies remain scarce. It is necessary to increase our understanding of the EU’s potential, limitations, and the conditions under which it may have an impact. This thesis contributes to closing this empirical and theoretical gap by examining the impact of the EU on Georgia, a country included in the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This evaluation is derived from original empirical research of four different modes of EU governance in the context of the ENP: Governance by conditionality (access to the single market regarding economic issues); intergovernmental governance (cooperation in foreign and security policies); external governance (energy security); and cooperative governance (Security Sector Reform). This thesis suggests that we can explain the responses to EU policies in neighbouring countries if we use a synthetic ideational/rationalist analytical framework which takes into account additional variables in the EU–neighbour relations in the domestic and regional context.
The findings indicate that the impact of the EU is slowly increasing, even in areas dominated by geopolitics such as energy security. Although the impact has been uneven at policy level, the EU has become an important external influence in Georgia. The thesis argues that, although important, EU incentives and geopolitical pressures are less decisive than the existing literature would predict. In contrast, the role of ideas in bilateral relations has had a crucial role across the case studies, showing in some instances the limitations of the alluring power of the EU as a ‘normative power’. Thus, EU impact is based on the existence of a coherent institutional framework of relations; embedded in social, political and economic links that are locked into favourable path-dependence processes and where ideational convergence is present.

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: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year