EU Policies in the Eastern Neighbourhood : The practices perspective
The EU continuously searches for more effective policy towards its eastern neighbourhood, which is reflected in the on-going adaptation of its existing approaches, discourses and policy strategies to the new challenges of its external environment. In order to understand the complexity and limitations of the EU framework under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership Initiative (EaP) – that is, to consider the interface between policy instruments, institutional structures, and multiple agents – one needs to adopt an original analytical perspective of practices to comprehensively assess the policies’ outcomes.
This volume therefore offers an examination of social practices as implemented through the use of policy instruments and subsequently embedded into the existing/emergent social structures which shape and determine the EU-neighbours’ relations. To gauge success of the ENP in the eastern region, the manuscript pulls together a rich collection of geographical and thematic case-studies, joined by the overarching conceptual framework of practices. This study’s principal aims are to discern patterns of social practices which guide agents’ interactions in different policy areas; to explore the origin and effect of these practices (the role of dominant discourses, logistical imbalances, deliberate strategies, etc.); and to explicate the nature of the emerging social structures being established in the eastern region. This approach is distinctive from other constructivist undertakings as it allows to synergise the meanings of social actions (through the focus on agents and instruments), and their structural extensions (through the focus on emergent structures) across geo- and bio-political localities of the EU and its eastern neighbourhood.
This book was published as a special issue of East European Politics.