Download Constrained Balancing: The EU's Security Policy (Palgrave by D. Peters PDF

By D. Peters

In 1999, ten years of heated debate in regards to the EU's function in protection coverage got here to an finish, whilst the ecu made up our minds to set up an self sustaining protection and protection coverage. Germany and Britain have been key gamers within the years resulting in this choice. yet they performed markedly assorted roles -- the previous endorsing the belief from the start, the latter dragging its heels and merely reluctantly turning into a supporter. still either British and German guidelines may be understood as responses to impulses from the overseas approach. the tip of the chilly warfare caused either states to pursue a coverage of balancing US strength. but overseas associations restricted their balancing efforts another way. to illustrate this, this research builds at the theories of neo-realism and historic institutionalism and develops the strategy of structure-based overseas coverage research: a brand new mode of reading protection regulations as responses to the foreign setting.

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Wolfers points this out in a less well-known example. Consider a group of people at an overcrowded horse track. They came to see the races, but they came late and so they can only stand in lines far away from the track, unable to actually watch the race. Once a gap opens up before them in the front lines they are highly likely to move toward this gap until it is filled. Thus, even if not faced with questions of life and death people will act in accordance with external circumstances if context highly restricts their ability to achieve highly valued goals.

If the house has just a single exit and the exit is not blocked by the fire it is easy to predict that everyone in the house will quickly try to reach the exit. To understand what these people do an observer could completely abstract from their individual traits and refer solely to their external context – the burning house. The same may also hold in less life-threatening situations in which context does not force individuals to act in a certain way but opens up a singular opportunity to achieve a cherished goal.

This way of approaching the analysis of foreign policies also has consequences for method because such a framework will be much more difficult to apply or test than one that makes clear-cut predictions and rules out a broad range of actions. The methodological problem is further complicated by the problem of left-out variables. A framework that focuses on context alone necessarily leaves out other potentially important variables. Consequently pure correlational evidence may lead to false conclusions.

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