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Abstract

The claim that the EU played a leadership role at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development is examined using the concept of normative power Europe. We examine how the EU operationalized the concept of sustainable development before questioning whether the EU represents a normative power in the field of sustainable development. In doing so, we address two key concerns. First, we question the depth of the current EU's commitment to sustainable development. Second, we raise a number of important theoretical questions regarding Ian Manners' broader application of the concept of normative power Europe.