A Common Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the European Union? How Member States’ Ideas, Norms and Identities Matter

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis investigates the prospects of a common counter-terrorism strategy in the European Union. It analyzes how Member States’ security cultures influence the establishment of a common European counter-terrorism strategy. The study examines the differences between Member States’ security cultures under the framework of social constructivism that emphasizes the impact of the socially constructed interaction between ideas, norms and identities on strategy formation. The study analyzes this impact on threat perception, espousal of multilateralism or unilateralism, use of civilian or military means and expression of self and other through the comparative discourse analysis of two Member States – United Kingdom and France. It also looks at the EU and the US security cultures and counter-terrorism strategies to come up with conclusions about the Member States’ Europeanist and Atlanticist security approaches that affect the construction of common ideas, norms and identity in the EU. The study concludes that the presence of national security cultures is the key obstacle to common security culture and counter-terrorism strategy in the European Union.

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