The Return of the Junta: The European sanction policy: an uncontested paradigm?

dc.contributor.advisorMeibauer, Gustav
dc.contributor.authorNeutel, Anne
dc.description.abstractThis thesis puts the EU sanction policy under scrutiny. In the European Global Strategy (2016), its commitment of being a hard power on the international stage is clearly displayed. It could be expected that this also gets translated into other EU foreign policies. An example of this would be that African states get less sanctions imposed on them, because it is beneficial for the EU to keep up good relations with these governments. Russia has been gaining influence in strategic important regions, such as the Sahel. Given the war in Ukraine and Europe’s new geopolitical resolution, it is a strong incentive for European officials to not drive these states into Russian hands because of European sanctions. Nevertheless, most of the time, the EU quite easily opts for sanctions anyway, such as in Mali. Why is this the case? Literature that covers European sanctions has tried to explain discrepancies in the policy, but is at a standstill. This thesis applies a new theory to explain European choices: policy paradigm theory, which explains why policies stay the way they are. This strand of literature could use further operationalization in cases of international relations, as it is mostly theoretically developed or applied to national policies. This research will apply it to the cases of Myanmar, which knows a long history of European sanctions, and Mali, which has been sanctioned more recently. In the case of Myanmar, economic downsides of sanctions raise doubts about whether or not to implement them, but not enough to bring about policy change. Regarding Mali, it is shown that the Council and Commission opt for sanctions without hesitation, regardless of growing Russian influence and a worsening situation for the Malian people. The paradigm structures reality and thus imposing sanctions is seen as the legitimate policy. Despite noted disadvantages, such as economic considerations or a deterioration of relations with sanctioned governments and consequently their turn to Russia, policy paradigm theory is found to indeed be a helpful and innovative way to understand the ongoing EU sanction policy.
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Managementwetenschappen
dc.thesis.specialisationspecialisations::Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen::Master Political Science::International Relations
dc.thesis.studyprogrammestudyprogrammes::Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen::Master Political Science
dc.titleThe Return of the Junta: The European sanction policy: an uncontested paradigm?
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