Managing a Multilevel Foreign Policy: The EU in International Affairs , edited by P.Foradori, P.Rosa and R.Scartezzini ( Plymouth : Lexington Books , 2007 , ISBN 9780739116432 ); xxi + 234pp. , £22.99 pb .
This volume is a welcome and refreshingly unconventional addition to the growing literature on the EU's policies, nature and overall behaviour in international affairs. What makes this book a particularly valuable resource is its focus on lesser-known approaches and conceptualizations, such as studies on the EU's inter-regionalism and multi-regionalism, European security governance approaches, or an analysis of the role of European political parties within the EU's common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and European defence and security policy (ESDP). Hence, this ambitious collection has the potential to significantly enrich and widen current mainstream debates on the EU as a global actor, reminding us of the EU's multifaceted nature and impact in the international security realm.
The book is divided into three main parts. Part I, ‘The EU in International Affairs’, combines contributions by Emil Kirchner on regional security governance in Europe – defined as ‘an intentional system of rules that involves the co-ordinated management and regulation of issues by multiple and separate authorities’, particularly by the EU, NATO, OSCE and UN – and by Anton Pelinka on the ‘underdevelopment of the European party system’, which he sees as responsible for the CFSP's and ESDP's lack of effectiveness, consistency and coherence, with Christopher Hill's succinct analysis of the EU's future as a global actor. Part II, ‘The EU and Inter-regional Relations’, offers important insights by Luk van Langenhove and Ana-Cristina Costea into the EU's growing network of interaction with other regions and an analytically rich comparison by Fulvio Attinà of the ‘European security partnership’ with similar security arrangements, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Shanghai Co-operation Organization and the African Union. The chapters by William Kinacle and Vittorio Parsi focus on EU–US issues, such as their differing approaches to terrorism and the rekindling of a post-Iraq transatlantic relationship, respectively. The final part, ‘Areas of Interventions’, places the emphasis on the EU's activities in the realm of conflict management (Giovanna Bono), the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (Harald Müller) and on an institutional analysis of the EU's and Nato's enlargement as an interdependent process (James Sperling).
Overall, this collection of high-calibre contributions lives up to the aim of offering a multifaceted insight into the EU's international engagements. However, given the conceptual diversity of the stand-alone chapters the book would have benefited from a more integrated overall framework, from cross-referencing between the chapters (particularly between the chapters on security governance, security partnership, inter-regionalism and conflict management) and, most crucially, from an overall conclusion by the editors. Yet, this should not distract from the volume's overall value as an excellent resource for students, instructors and researchers alike.