A Critical Overview of the European Union’s Involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution Process as a Normative Power
Alıcı, Hünkar Özgü
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Since the 1970s, the European Union’s distinctive characteristics have created a lively debate among International Relations (IR) scholars on its role concept and identity in international politics. In this framework, the concept of normative power was coined to explain the international profile of the Union on the basis of its founding norms and principles. In the post-Cold War era, dramatic changes in the international system have forced the Union to accelerate its initiatives to establish an effective foreign and security policy. With the end of the Cold War, the Union’s effectiveness in these fields has been questioned by scholars. The Union’s actions and policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have particularly been at the center of discussions. To shed light on this, this thesis undertakes to present a critical perspective on the Union’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution process as a normative power. To provide a clear theoretical ground, the Union’s identity and profile in international politics are analysed from a constructivist point of view. In accordance with the arguments of the constructivist school of thought, this thesis addresses the Union’s international identity and its impact on foreign policy, and outlines the concept of normative power. After an examination of the Union’s foreign and security policy evolution and its objectives in its neighbourhood policy, the study proceeds to an analysis of the Union’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution process. In order to present a comprehensive and critical conceptual basis, Ian Manners’s triple analysis method, which is based on examining the Union’s principles, actions and outcomes arising from these is used. The main argument of this thesis is that because of the lack of consistency in the policies of member states, the Union cannot portray an effective actor profile in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.