CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT AND THE POLICY OF DISPOSITION: THREE CASE STUDIES OF EU-ASIA POLICY

in The European Union and Asia
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Abstract

This chapter is the first contribution in this volume which approaches the EU-Asia ‘inter-continental dialogue’ by means of a detailed and focussed policy-analysis. The authors argue that a number of the European Union’s policies towards Asia can be conceptualised using the term ‘constructive engagement’, a policy-method which is here defined as the ‘opposite of confrontation’. Anchoring their main argument in liberal and idealist theoretical approaches to international relations, the authors of this contribution offer an analysis of the EU as a ‘normative power’ and as a ‘symbolic presence’ in Asia, especially in the areas of security and conflict-prevention. To underscore this, this section offers a number of case studies relating to the Union’s policies towards The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Indonesian province of Aceh. These examples show that the EU’s policy arsenal towards its Asian interlocutors can be characterised in terms of a flexible and pragmatic range of roles, and by what the authors call the ‘policy of disposition’.

The European Union and Asia

Reflections and Re-orientations

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