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An inter-disciplinary study of strategic interactions in foreign economic policy-making of the EU: agent, structure and knowledge

By Oh Suk Yang


The guiding research question in this thesis is how to improve our understanding of the global dynamics in both the process of establishing and the actual content of the EU’s foreign economic policy. To answer this question this study has raised, first, in terms of the concept of FEP, the question of whether traditional accounts of inter-mestic policy, centred around economic performance, i.e. mono-dimensional FEP, are reasonable or not. As a result, this study suggests that it is desirable to take into account other dimensions of FEP, as economic diplomacy and foreign economic policy, in order to generate a multi-dimensional account of FEP.\ud \ud Second, this multi-dimensional account requires us to establish a new framework, and to deal with issues related to the establishment of methodology. There have been a series of debates between those who emphasise comparative politics and those who emphasis international relations. In addition, those who suggest the analysis of foreign policy have been contending with those who are in favour of an international political economy approach. This study recognises that all of those approaches have individual merits and discovers the possibility of convergence in terms of a meta-theoretical dimension.\ud \ud Ultimately, this study suggests an analytical synthesis of the traditional foreign economic policy approaches, which is based on the dialogue of agent-structure and structure-structure relationships. This cognitive framework of dialogue encompasses a series of concepts such as order, power, heterogeneity, similarity, justice and distribution. The account of such a series of concepts constructs the epistemological components of meta-theoretical convergence between comparative politics, international relations, the analysis of foreign policy and the international political economy approach. Consequently, general explanation and explanations of the timing and content of policy outputs are provided.\ud \ud On the other hand, in accordance with the theoretical suggestions above, this study suggests the following agent-centred scenarios of the likely course the EU might take in the formation of the EU’s foreign economic policy in the near future

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