British Positions towards the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union

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Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 17, Issue 3 (2017)


This paper analyzes Britain’s position towards Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union from 1998 to 2016. The paper considers the reasoning for the Britain’s positions toward CSDP through posing the research question: Why did Britain backed the launch of the CSDP and then did not consistently support all its developments? A case study approach, it concentrates on the main developments of the CSDP, which are: Launch of the CSDP (1998-1999); Development of the operational headquarter (2010-2011); Role of Britain in the Libyan crisis, which is not related to the institutional developments, but still is very important as the first real chance for the CSDP to be tested after its launch. Through Putnam’s Two Level Game Theory, the paper seeks to support the twin hypotheses that domestic affairs influence Britain’s decisions towards CSDP; and that developments within the European Union impact Britain’s position towards CSDP through the interplay with domestic factors.