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Changing Belarus? The Limits of EU Governance in Eastern Europe and the Promise of Partnership

Korosteleva, Elena, Bosse, Giselle (2009) Changing Belarus? The Limits of EU Governance in Eastern Europe and the Promise of Partnership. Cooperation and Conflict, 44 (2). pp. 143-165. ISSN 0010-8367. (doi:10.1177/0010836709102736) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, European Union (EU) efforts in transforming Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have been enormously successful. The 2004 enlargement is widely regarded as the single most effective foreign policy strategy in the Union's history, and the recent European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was designed to repeat that success in countries located on the EU's new Eastern borders. Although the ENP has been the subject of substantive discussion in European academia, Belarus is the one country in Eastern Europe that has largely escaped scholarly attention. This article takes stock of recent developments in EU—Belarus relations and seeks to explain the very limited leverage of the EU over the country. We first examine the EU's relations with Belarus through the theoretical lens of external governance. By taking for granted the EU's ability to transfer its norms and values, however, the governance perspective does not account for the EU's very limited success in changing Belarus. We therefore revisit Michael Smith's notion of `boundaries of order' to highlight the impact of legal/institutional, transactional, cultural and geopolitical factors on EU—Belarus relations. We argue, in particular, that the existence and the construction of boundaries between the Union and its neighbouring states are essentially mutually constitutive processes. Besides shifting its own boundaries (and thereby extending its rules to outsiders), the EU is itself subject to the boundaries enacted by neighbouring states. In our conclusion, we juxtapose the notion of external governance as `rule transfer' with `partnership' as a more suitable mode of interaction between the EU and Belarus

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0010836709102736
Uncontrolled keywords: Belarus; boundaries of order; Eastern partnership; EU external governance
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Global Europe Centre
Depositing User: Elena Korosteleva
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 15:36 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/37646 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Korosteleva, Elena: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2807-738X
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