University of Twente Student Theses


Explaining EU policies in Nigeria: a confrontation of realism and idealism

Lorenz, Ramona (2011) Explaining EU policies in Nigeria: a confrontation of realism and idealism.

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Abstract:This thesis presents a critique concerning the one-sided interpretations of EU foreign policy provided by pure idealism and pure realism. Therefore, these two theories are confronted, in order to examine the extent to which each of them is able to explain certain EU actions. This explanation is developed for the case of EU actions in its relations with Nigeria between 1995 and 2007. In order to approach this topic, a qualitative analysis of EU documents is conducted. Within this framework, first of all the EU´s interests and instruments are identified and classified along idealist and/or realist lines. Secondly, the EU-Nigerian relations from 1995 until 2007 are observed over time. This analysis reveals two major phases characterized by different EU actions, implying different EU interests and instruments, resulting in different forms of cooperation with Nigeria. When accounting for these two major phases by realism and idealism, it turns out that both major phases of EU action can be explained by both idealism and realism to some extent. Nevertheless, a certain trend is observable over time. Whereas in Nigeria´s military period until 1999, EU actions are rather driven by idealist interests, since its transition to democracy that year, realist interests seem to develop increasingly. For EU-Nigerian relations this development implies a shift in the division of power, becoming slightly more balanced, since the EU has come to recognize Nigeria more as a partner than as an aid-receiver.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:83 economics
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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