The Ideas and Practices of the European Union’s Structural Antidiplomacy

An Unstable Equilibrium


In 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.

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Steffen Bay Rasmussen, Ph.D. (2011), University of the Basque Country, is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Deusto. He has published several articles and book chapters on EU foreign policy and diplomacy, including consular relations and public diplomacy.
"In short, it is a methodologically comprehensive, up-to-date and a very well founded book, considering that it is an issue covering a myriad of processes. However, the author effectively deals with most of these impediments." - Roberto Duran, Catholic University of Chile, in: Diplomatica 1 (2019)
1 Introduction: The European Union and the Contemporary Transformation of Diplomacy
 1.1 The European Union as a Case of Special Interest
 1.2 Research Design
 1.3 The Organisation of the Book

2 Conceptual Framework: Diplomacy, Alienation and Ideal Types
 2.1 Towards a Contingent Notion of Diplomacy
  2.1.1  The English School
  2.1.2  The Limitations of Doctrinal Approaches
  2.1.3  Alienation and Diplomacy
  2.1.4  A Contingent Definition of Diplomacy
 2.2 A Social Constructivist Ontology of Diplomacy
  2.2.1  Social Structures
  2.2.2  The Role of Diplomacy in the International System
  2.2.3  Conceptualising the Diplomacy of Individual Actors
  2.2.4  Diplomacy as a Structured Discursive Totality
  2.2.5  Layers of Diplomacy
 2.3 Westphalian Diplomacy: An Ideal Type
  2.3.1  Westphalian Diplomatic Identities, Ideas and Meta-practices
  2.3.2  Westphalian Diplomatic Practice
 2.4 Antidiplomacy: An Ideal Type
  2.4.1  Antidiplomatic Identities, Ideas and Meta-practices
  2.4.2  Antidiplomatic Practices
 2.5 Ideal Types and the Analysis of the Social Structure, Practices and Meta-practices of EU Diplomacy

3 The Organisation of the EU as a Diplomatic Actor
 3.1 The Historical Evolution of the EU as a Diplomatic Actor
 3.2 The Internal Setup of the EU as a Diplomatic Actor after Lisbon
  3.2.1  The European Council and Its Permanent President
  3.2.2  The Council of the European Union
  3.2.3  The Commission and The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission
  3.2.4  The European External Action Service
 3.3 Division of Labour in Brussels and the Challenge of Coherence
 3.4 Conclusion: A Complex Network Organisation

4 The EU in Bilateral Diplomatic Relations
 4.1 The EU as Receiver of Diplomatic Mission
 4.2 The Permanent Representation of the EU in Third States
  4.2.1  The EU Delegations
  4.2.2  The Role of the Diplomatic Missions of the Member States
 4.3 EU Special Representatives
 4.4 Coordination in the Network of EU Diplomatic Representations
 4.5 Conclusion

5 The Participation of the EU in International Organisations
 5.1 The Participation of the EU in International Organisations: General Aspects
 5.2 The United Nations
  5.2.1  The status of the European Union
  5.2.2  Practices of Representation
  5.2.3  Practices of Coordination
  5.2.4  The UN Security Council
  5.2.5  The FAO
 5.3 The World Trade Organization
  5.3.1  Status of the EU
  5.3.2  Forms of Representation
  5.3.3  Coordination Practices
 5.4 The International Monetary Fund
  5.4.1  Status of the EU
  5.4.2  Forms of Representation
  5.4.3  Coordination Practices
 5.5 The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ( osce )
  5.5.1  Status of the EU
  5.5.2  Forms of Representation
  5.5.3  Coordination Practices
 5.6 Conclusion

6 EU Diplomatic Meta-Practices: Institutionalisation, Legalisation and Regionalisation
 6.1 Evolution of the EU’s International Legal Personality and Its Competences to Conclude International Agreements
 6.2 EU Agreements: General Aspects
  6.2.1  Cooperation Agreements
  6.2.2  Association Agreements
  6.2.3  Technical and Partial Agreements
 6.3 EU Regionalism: The Structure of the EU’s Relationships with Other Regions
  6.3.1  Africa and the acp States
  6.3.2  Asia
  6.3.3  Latin America
  6.3.4  The European Economic Area
  6.3.5  The European Neighbourhood Policy
 6.4 Conclusion: EU Diplomatic Meta-practices between Transformative Effects and Isomorphic Pressures on the EU to Adapt

7 Social Structures of EU Diplomacy
 7.1 The International Identity of the European Union a Diplomatic Actor
  7.1.1  The Dominant Antidiplomatic EU Identity
  7.1.2  The Minority Construction of EU Diplomatic Identity Based on the Westphalian Ideal Type
 7.2 The Causal Ideas in EU Diplomacy
 7.3 Strategic Objectives of EU Diplomacy
 7.4 Conclusion

8 Conclusions and Perspectives
 8.1 Main Characteristics of European Union Diplomacy
  8.1.1  EU Diplomatic Practices
  8.1.2  EU Diplomatic Meta-practices: Institutionalisation, Legalisation and Regionalisation
  8.1.3  The Antidiplomatic Social Structures of EU Diplomacy
 8.2 What Diplomatic Theory Reveals about the EU: The Structural Antidiplomacy of the European Union as an Inherently Unstable Construction between the Ideal Types of Westphalia and Utopian Antidiplomacy
 8.3 What the EU Case Reveals about Diplomacy: Ideal Types and the Pluralisation of Diplomacy
  8.3.1  The Case of EU Diplomacy and the Construction of a Typology of Diplomacies
  8.3.2  The Systemic Impact of the EU’s Structural Antidiplomacy

Annex 1: Ideal Type Social Structures of Diplomacy
Annex 2: Ideal Type Diplomatic Meta-practices
Annex 3: Ideal Type Diplomatic Practices
Researchers and post-graduate students interested in diplomatic theory, new forms of diplomacy and also those working in the field of European Union foreign policy and diplomatic relations.