Expanding actorness to explain EU External engagement in originally internal policy areas

Simon Schunz*, Chad Damro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Despite its increasing importance for European integration, there remains a lack of scholarly attention to the growth of EU external action in originally internal policy areas. This article advances a comprehensive framework for understanding and explaining the emergence of EU external engagement in such areas. The framework combines insights from two sets of literatures: the EU external relations literature offers useful concepts – particularly ‘actorness’ – as building blocks for explanatory purposes, while the public policy literature provides relevant insights regarding policy entrepreneurship and agenda-setting. The article contends that EU external engagement results from a favourable interplay between an external ‘opportunity’ and the EU’s ‘presence’ in a given domain, which is identified and capitalized upon by a set of policy entrepreneurs, who are driven by interest-based and/or ideational motives. The article undertakes a qualitative analysis of primary and secondary sources to apply the framework across multiple policy areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-140
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • European Union
  • actorness
  • external relations
  • presence
  • policy entrepreneurship
  • agenda-setting


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