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European Union External Relations

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A PhD project with Professor Webber will study the external relations of the EU – formally organized through the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) - as well as specific activities in the areas of trade, development assistance and the environment.

The project builds on work Professor Webber has conducted over several years on CSDP, and EU relations with Russia and NATO. It is also framed by his current work in co-editing a major Handbook of EU and European foreign policies.

The project considers first the theoretical and analytical implications of the EU as an actor in foreign policy: the nature of EU ‘actorness’ (its institutional and normative components); the manner in which EU Member States ‘upload’ their preferences; the socialisation effects of EU membership on existing and acceding members; and the status of the EU as a site of security governance. These areas can be applied to particular themes of EU external activities: conflict management, ‘defence’, diplomacy, trade, aid, the environment, human rights etc. Webber would welcome PhD proposals that consider how EU external relations are conceptualised/theorised and how such frameworks apply to case studies of EU activity.

He would also welcome proposals which consider how the foreign policy of the UK has been influenced by EU membership.

For information about the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS), please visit:


(with M.E. Smith), 'Political Dialogue and Security in the European Neighbourhood: The Virtues and Limits of “New Partnership Perspectives”’, European Foreign Affairs Review, Vol.13(1), 2008

Inclusion, Exclusion and the Governance of European Security (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2007).

(as lead author with T. Terriff, J. Howorth, S. Croft and E. Krahmann), 'The Governance of European Security', Review of International Studies, Vol.30(1), 2004.

M. Webber, 'The Common Security and Defence Policy in a Multilateral World', in P. Koutrakos (ed), European Foreign Policy: Legal and Political Perspectives (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011).

J. Sperling and M. Webber, ‘Security Governance: A Return to System’ European Security, forthcoming (2014).

Co-editor with Ana E. Juncos, Research Handbook on European Foreign Policy (Edward Elgar, forthcoming, 2015).

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)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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