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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Normative Power: The European Practice of Region Building and the Case of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP)

  • Author(s): Adler, Emanuel;
  • Crawford, Beverly
  • et al.

This paper lays out a normative approach to the study of power in International Relations. This approach emphasizes the role of cooperative security practices, region building, and pluralistic integration in order to achieve peaceful change. The paper discusses the challenges to cooperative security practices in the Euro-Med process, a process that aims to promote the construction of a Mediterranean “region” of stability and peace. In order to understand what lies behind the EU's use of use of these practices, this paper suggests that they represent the application of “normative power” (Manners 2002: 240) in international relations. The practice of normative power differs significantly from a traditional understanding of the use of power in international relations. The paper assess the potential this concept of normative power to promote a shared sense of security in, and peoples' regional identification with, spaces and socially constructed regions that transcend the cultural and civilization borders of the Mediterranean region.

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