Improving Coherence in External Relations
Chapter 2: A research framework to investigate external coherence
Chapter 2 develops the analytical framework for research on external coherence employed in this book. It reviews theories and literature from the scholarly fields of International Relations (IR) and European Studies and assesses their potential to explain varying outcomes of EU external policies. A special focus in explaining the external performance of the EU is placed on coherence: the concept is defined, structured and operationalized. On this basis, the chapter proposes a dual analytical approach to investigate the coherence of EU foreign policy. A distinction is drawn between the policy setting—investigated through an institutionalist research agenda—and the policy content. The latter is explored through Arnold Wolfers’ conceptualization of milieu and possession goals. On this basis, a set of research propositions on external coherence is formulated that informs and guides the following four empirical chapters.
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