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The Drivers and Destination of CSDP: Reconciling EU Law and IR Theory

Tom Dyson, Theodore Konstadinides

This paper explores the factors underpinning the development of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the potential for more extensive cooperation in the policy area. In contrast to the majority of the literature on CSDP that emphasises the analytical leverage that can be attained through Constructivist accounts, the study explores the explanatory power of Neorealist approaches to European defence cooperation. It emphasises the causal role of the balance of power and balance of threat as drivers of CSDP that is identified as a case of 'reformed' bandwagoning on US power. In doing so, the study will attempt to link legal and international relations scholarship on CSDP by using the legal analysis to shed light on the structural factors which both facilitate and hinder closer cooperation in the field of defence. Relying upon the empirical insights of EU Law, the paper critiques the assumption, inherent in Constructivist approaches to CSDP, that integration and 'governance' will be possible in this policy area. It argues that subject to the constraints of variance in the external vulnerability and the alliance security dilemma, CSDP will remain intergovernmental and characterised by a significant level of national duplication in force structures, military capabilities and the retention of substantial national defence industrial capacity.

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