Challenging Theoretical Explanations of the External Dimension of the European Union’s Internal Security: the EU's Police Cooperation in the Western Balkans as Political Practice

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:ISBN 978-951-51-5965-6
Title: Challenging Theoretical Explanations of the External Dimension of the European Union’s Internal Security: the EU's Police Cooperation in the Western Balkans as Political Practice
Author: Kantokoski, Olga
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Changes
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020-04-04
Belongs to series: ISBN 978-951-51-5965-6 (PDF)
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:ISBN 978-951-51-5965-6
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/313790
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: This doctoral dissertation examines the ‘politics’ of the EU's international police cooperation. The existing academic scholarship approaches the historical process of internationalization of the European internal security and law enforcement collaboration mainly from a ‘technocratic’ and ‘apolitical’ perspective, whereby ‘externalization’ of the Union's internal security objectives to the third countries and regions is explained in a ‘functionalist’ manner as a response to the ever growing menace of international organized crime. The ‘institutional factor’, or the presence of adequate anti-crime institutional resources and infrastructure, is additionally highlighted by scholars as an important enabler of the Union's international cooperation in the domain of internal security. By contrast, the causal role of the EU's high-level political and power considerations in the justice and home affairs’ internationalization process has remained insufficiently understood and theorized in the existing literature. This research project expands the theoretical horizons of both specialized literature on the EU's external JHA cooperation and a broader stream of research on the EU's foreign policy by exploring the Union's police cooperation as primarily reflective of the EU's evolving international political and power ambitions regarding its geographical neighbourhood. It thus challenges the prevalent view of the external dimension of JHA as being a merely security-driven, anti-crime practice, and a ‘functional corollary’ of the process of institutionalization of the EU's internal JHA landscape. Empirically, the dissertation engages with the examination of the recent history and practices of European internal security collaboration in the EU's core strategic neighbourhood of the Western Balkans: being perceived and securitized as a ‘stronghold’ of organized crime in the European discourse, this region has for years acted as a site of the Union's most intense international anti-crime activities. Chronologically, the research project spans the major period of 1991-2011, when the Western Balkans rose to prominence in the EU's foreign policy and cooperation on internal security matters and police cooperation with this region acquired particular importance for the Union. The dissertation project is of significance not only due to its empirical value (it is based on a significant amount of raw empirical data that the author processed into findings by methods such as interviews with people at the front-line of policy developments), but also because it opens up new theoretical-conceptual avenues to the study of the European Union as an international political actor.This doctoral dissertation examines the ‘politics’ of the EU's international police cooperation. The existing academic scholarship approaches the historical process of internationalization of the European internal security and law enforcement collaboration mainly from a ‘technocratic’ and ‘apolitical’ perspective, whereby ‘externalization’ of the Union's internal security objectives to the third countries and regions is explained in a ‘functionalist’ manner as a response to the ever growing menace of international organized crime. The ‘institutional factor’, or the presence of adequate anti-crime institutional resources and infrastructure, is additionally highlighted by scholars as an important enabler of the Union's international cooperation in the domain of internal security. By contrast, the causal role of the EU's high-level political and power considerations in the justice and home affairs’ internationalization process has remained insufficiently understood and theorized in the existing literature. This research project expands the theoretical horizons of both specialized literature on the EU's external JHA cooperation and a broader stream of research on the EU's foreign policy by exploring the Union's police cooperation as primarily reflective of the EU's evolving international political and power ambitions regarding its geographical neighbourhood. It thus challenges the prevalent view of the external dimension of JHA as being a merely security-driven, anti-crime practice, and a ‘functional corollary’ of the process of institutionalization of the EU's internal JHA landscape. Empirically, the dissertation engages with the examination of the recent history and practices of European internal security collaboration in the EU's core strategic neighbourhood of the Western Balkans: being perceived and securitized as a ‘stronghold’ of organized crime in the European discourse, this region has for years acted as a site of the Union's most intense international anti-crime activities. Chronologically, the research project spans the major period of 1991-2011, when the Western Balkans rose to prominence in the EU's foreign policy and cooperation on internal security matters and police cooperation with this region acquired particular importance for the Union. The dissertation project is of significance not only due to its empirical value (it is based on a significant amount of raw empirical data that the author processed into findings by methods such as interviews with people at the front-line of policy developments), but also because it opens up new theoretical-conceptual avenues to the study of the European Union as an international political actor.
Subject: world politics/political science
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