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The European Union in the legacies of imperial rule? EU accession politics viewed from a historical comparative perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hartmut Behr


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International Relations benefits from historical comparative research. Although a historical comparative method can be fruitfully applied to the study of the European Union (EU), it is rarely undertaken. In this article, EU accession politics, particularly its 2004 enlargement, is compared with 19th century 'standards of civilization' developed by European states concluding treaties with non-European nations. This article argues that EU accession politics operates in the legacies of 19th-century imperial rule. Understanding the EU in terms of an (new) empire might enrich the discussion of the perception and categorization of the EU as an international order.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Behr EH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of International Relations

Year: 2007

Volume: 13

Issue: 2

Pages: 239-262

ISSN (print): 1354-0661

ISSN (electronic): 1460-3713


DOI: 10.1177/1354066107076956


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