The EU as a Separate Actor in International Relations

Project Description

How and why can the European Union (EU) become an actor in its own right acting independently alongside its member states? This question has received surprisingly little attention in the debate on European external actorness. By starting from basic insights of sociological theories of corporate action (i.e. corporate actors emerge if sovereigns delegate resources and autonomy to an organisation), this project examines the sources of EU action capabilities and defines the limits of EU actorness.


Selected Publications

Gehring, Thomas; Kevin Urbanski and Sebastian Oberthür (2017): The European Union as an Inadvertent Great Power: EU Actorness and the Ukraine Crisis. In: Journal of Common Market Studies,  DOI: 10.1111/jcms.12530 (online first).

Gehring, Thomas; Sebastian Oberthür and Marc Mühleck (2013): European Union Actorness in International Institutions: Why the EU is Recognized as an Actor in Some International Institutions, but Not in Others. In: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 51, No. 5, pages 849–865.


Selected Conference Papers

Gehring, Thomas; Kevin Urbanski and Sebastian Oberthür (2015): Beyond Intergovernmental Coordination: EU Corporate Foreign Policy Action and the Crisis over Ukraine. Paper for the EUSA 14th Biennial Conference in Boston MA, 5-7 March.

Urbanski, Kevin (2014): Emerging Actorness in CFSP: The Functional Logic of EU Sanctions Policies. Paper prepared for the 2nd European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) in Izmir, 21-24 May.

Gehring, Thomas (2012): Two Logics of EU External Actorness: Spill-over and Credible Commitment. Paper prepared for the Conference “The European Union in International Affairs III”, Brussels, 3-5 May.

Gehring, Thomas and Sebatian Oberthür (2010): Organizations as Corporate Actors in the International System. Conceptualising the EU as a Corporate Actor in International Negotiations and Regimes. Paper prepared for the 7th Pan-European International Relations Conference, Stockholm, 9-11 September.