Neighborhood Challenge

The European Union and Its Neighbors

by Birgul Demirtas-Coskun & Bezen Balamir-Coskun

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Synopsis

One of the intriguing questions of the post-Cold War era has been whether the EU will play a major global role in world politics as non-traditional threats and challenges came to the forefront. Launching new policies such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the European Security and Defence Policy and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) have been considered important steps in the EU?s evolution as a regional and possibly global actor. Neighborhood Challenge analyzes critical aspects of the European Union's relations with its neighbours, by extending its analysis beyond the ENP. Unlike existing books on the subject, the volume covers the entire neighborhood from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus to North Africa; from the Western Balkans to the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Such an extensive overview of EU policies toward its neighbors is a timely and valuable contribution to European Studies literature. This book can be used as a tool for both academicians and practitioners who specialize in European foreign and security policy; as a textbook in European Union foreign policy courses both at the undergraduate and graduate level; and as a comprehensive reference book for postgraduate students writing dissertations on European foreign and security policy in general and European Neighborhood Policy in particular.

The contributions analyze challenges and prospects posed by countries neighboring the EU and the effectiveness of EU policy in dealing with these agendas. Region-focused chapters examine the EU?s politics toward the Western Balkans, Middle East, CIS, and the Black Sea; country-focused chapters explore aspects of Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Iran, Bosnia, Kosovo; and thematically-focused chapters deal with energy security, organized crime, and other issues.

Neighborhood Challenge is intended to contribute to the existing literature on EU foreign and security policy in two ways: First, its material is not restricted to the ENP. Instead, it addresses all EU neighbors in a large region and their position in European security. The authors argue that not only the countries in the immediate neighborhood of the EU but also those located in relatively far away regions have a role to play in European Union foreign affairs. Secondly, many of the contributions were written by experts living in countries which neighbor the EU. Their contributions lend new ideas and insight to the relevant literature on EU security and foreign policy.

REVIEWS:

The International Spectator by Thorfinn Stainfort, p. 107-108.

"This volume presents a very valuable corrective to those that define the European Union's 'neighbourhood' in terms solely of its immediate neighbours or those formally included in the European Neighbourhood Policy. By presenting a wide range of case studies, it enables us to place the ENP in the broader perspective of European order and to show how the expansion of the EU creates new problems and opportunities for regional order in Eurasia. It will be an important reference tool for all those interested in these questions."
Prof. Dr. Michael H. Smith, Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies, Loughborough University

"The EU's possible stabilizing effect on its neighbouring regions will be one of the factors which determines its place in global politics. This book highlights important opportunities as well as challenges that the Union faces in this regard. I think it is one of the great assets of the book that many of the authors are from these regions and can reflect the local perceptions as well. I believe it will be an important reference book for the scholars and policymakers dealing with the subject."
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cinar Ozen, Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University

"The old Ottoman Empire ruled an area from the Balkans to the Iranian border, and its concern ran to Ukraine and the Caucasus. The world's attention is now focused on that same area of tension. Here, young scholars from various parts of it, mainly modern Turkey, consider various aspects of today's problems, especially as they affect and are affected by the European Union. It is not a happy story, but there is a learning curve. This volume is a valuable contribution to the literature."
Prof. Dr. Norman Stone, Department of International Relations, Bilkent University

"The special value of this volume lies in its "outsider" view, because most of the authors come from non-EU states. . . . In all, this is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the European Union as an international actor in its various dimensions and a welcome addition to the reading lists of respective courses at graduate level."
Dr. Heinz Kramer, Head of Research Unit "EU External Relations" at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

About The Author

Bezen Balamir-Coskun received her Ph.D. in Politics, International Relations and European Studies from Loughborough University. Coskun's research fields include the Middle East, security region building in the Middle East, and Middle East policies of the EU and Turkey. Coskun has written several articles, book chapters and research papers on Middle East security, the EU's Middle East policy, and Turkey's Middle East policy.

Birgul Demirtas-Coskun received her Ph.D. from Free University Berlin in 2005. She is working as lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey. She is also the assistant editor of the refereed journal Uluslararasi Iliskiler (International Relations), which is published by Turkish International Relations Council.