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The European Union and the Arab Spring: Learning and Un-learning Lessons from 1989 and the Colour Revolutions

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The PhD project’s main focus will be on conceptualising, from a theoretically constructivist perspective, the making of EU foreign policy and to apply and test this on selected case studies of EU policy vis-à-vis countries in three sets of cases. This is aimed at examining how the EU has constructed its ’other’ (the target of its foreign policy) and how notions of change in the ’other’ have influenced EU foreign policy. This will require the PhD project to unpack the ’other’ and analyse how nuanced and complex the EU’s concept of the ’other’ is (e.g., state/government, local actors, youth groups, women, etc.) and whether EU foreign policy takes these nuances into account and to what effect. This is closely related to notions of change: on the one hand, a question to be explored is whether the different degrees of how this ’other’ has been, is and might possibly be changing are reflected in EU foreign policy change; while, on the other hand, the project will also investigate the extent to which such change has been/can be supported by EU foreign policy. Careful process tracing will enable the PhD project to produce robust findings to help us understand better processes of causation in foreign policy making and impact.

In addition to the empirical gains in knowledge derived from the case studies, the project will thus also make a significant contribution to the further development of constructivist foreign policy analysis and EU foreign policy analysis, including by examining foreign policy making and foreign policy impact in the dynamic relationship between the EU’s ’self’ and three distinct ’others’. The proposed PhD project, thus, will also make a theoretically grounded and empirically richly substantiated contribution of policy relevance by assessing the effectiveness of EU policies aimed at supporting democratic development in its neighbourhood. The historically informed approach the PhD project and the applicants’ research more generally takes will allow meaningful and systematic comparison across time and space and therefore assist in pinning down which policies and under which conditions can have a measurable impact on the ground.

Further information about funding, the application process, including how to prepare a research proposal, can be found here: PLEASE CONSULT THIS PAGE PRIOR TO MAKING FURTHER ENQUIRIES.

Funding Notes

Please note that this project is primarily for self-funded students, but some limited funding may be available. Please View Website for further information.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Politics and International Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 47.07

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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