Review of “Hans-Georg Ehrhart / Martin Kahl ( Hrsg.) (2010). Security Governance in und für Europa. Konzepte, Akteure, Missionen”

Originally published in November 201112399

During the last few years in particular, literature has examined new actors and new strategies of security governance. Research on Europe is no exception to this. However, while one side of the debate is skeptical about the ability of the European Union to substantially contribute to security governance, the other side of the debate relies on the changing and developing capacities of the EU. In this, it is her civilian role, in particular, and her commitment to dialogue processes, norm development, norm diffusion, and trust building that come to the foreground repeatedly.

These qualities are said to be increasingly important in a changing security environment, characterised by criminal, ecological, and cultural conflicts. As an example for the already successful and independent role of the EU, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is quoted time and again as a case where the EU is apparently able to overcome her inherent weaknesses – for instance the necessity to reconcile the preferences and national policies of her member states – through improved coordination.

This is where the edited volume of Ehrhart and Kahl enters the debate. Because where the European Union has progress to show for, theory allegedly remains behind.