The Ideas and Practices of the European Union’s Structural Antidiplomacy, Steffen Bay Rasmussen offers a comprehensive analysis of EU diplomacy that goes beyond the functioning of the European External Action Service and discusses the sui generis nature of the EU as a diplomatic actor, the forms of bilateral and multilateral representation as well as the actor identity, founding ideas and meta-practices of EU diplomacy. The book employs a novel theoretical approach that distinguishes the social structures of diplomacy from the practices and meta-practices of diplomacy. Comparing EU diplomacy to the two theoretically constructed ideal types of Westphalian diplomacy and utopian antidiplomacy, Steffen Bay Rasmussen concludes that the EU’s international agency constitutes a new form of diplomacy called structural antidiplomacy.
This article examines the messages and practices of the European Union’s public diplomacy. Public diplomacy is conceptualized as a modality of diplomacy that seeks to influence foreign political discourses. The influence sought by the EU through its messages relates to the projection of its identity as an actor and to the diffusion of its own normative foundation, which are potentially conflicting objectives. EU public diplomacy is characterized by its decentralized nature, where the European Commission’s delegations in third states are the most important actors in the network ‘doing’ EU public diplomacy. The article concludes that the network organization of EU public diplomacy, although giving rise to important problems of coherence, is well adapted to the current patterns of diplomatic interaction and the pursuit of EU strategic objectives, and indeed is more effective than a more unitary actor that was able to speak with a single voice in international relations.