Governing European Security Beyond 'Europe'? The Eastern Partnership as an Instrument for Security Governance in the EU's Eastern Neighborhood

Siri Caroline Spangsdorf

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis investigates how the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a framework for political and economic association, functions as a means for the EU to govern security in its Eastern neighborhood. Reflecting an interpretivist philosophical standpoint, it draws on securitization theory and qualitatively examines the discursive and context-dependent negotiation of the meanings of ‘security’ between ‘securitizing actors’ in charge of threat design and ‘audiences’ whose consent enables mobilizing measures to manage perceived threat. The EU’s securitization of its neighborhood is multidimensional: it implies diverse threats towards diverse referents. The findings evidence a switch in EU security thinking, indicating a progression from a ‘secure’ to an ‘under threat’ sense of ‘self’. They further document the emergence of two binary security logics from EU securitization. Both suggest EU security objectives towards the region to form part of a strategy of enhancing EU ontological security, dependent on the stability of ‘self’ vs. ‘other’ narratives.
The EaP is studied as an outcome of a parallel securitization process reflecting the lenses through which the acceding countries of the 2004 enlargement perceive threat. This parallel securitization process and that of the EU have progressively converged: the EaP as an instrument for security governance both reflects and facilitates securitization. The EU’s security logics pursued through the EaP have implications for its relations with other actors. This challenges its security projection and governance in the neighborhood, emphasizing the negotiable meaning of ‘security’ across social contexts. The thesis concludes with a conceptual proposal to securitization theory which seeks to explain the above.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages126
SupervisorsMagali Gravier