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Is the EU a global 'force for good'? Four case studies in South Asia

ContributorsUllah Khan, Masih
  • Euryopa. Etudes; 77
Master program titleMaster en études européennes
Defense date2012

Thanks to its normative and civilian means to putatively promote global goods like democracy and human rights, peace and security, the EU has come to be recognised as a global ‘force for good'. However, most of the studies done to verify the claim and description of the EU as the ‘force for good' have been mainly done either in Eastern and South Eastern Europe or in the European neighbourhood, and rarely in South Asia. Intending to fill this void and analyse whether the EU is indeed a global ‘force for good' i.e. beyond its neighbourhood, this thesis studied the role, intervention and impact of the EU for the promotion of democracy in Nepal (2002-08) and Pakistan (1999-2008) and management of conflict in India (2002) and Sri Lanka (2006-09). The research has shown that the normative power of the EU had little impact while the civilian means of power was either inconsistently applied or was largely ineffective. In Nepal, the EU's political and economic leverage was weak and inconsequential apart from the misplaced priority given to mitigation of conflict over democracy. It was India, which was the most influential external actor for democratisation of Nepal in 2008. In Pakistan, barring the first two years from mid-October 1999 till the ‘9/11', in spite of having considerable leverage the EU shepherded by the US prioritised the terrorism related security concerns over promotion of democracy. In case of ethnic conflict in India in 2002, EU's interventions were timid and even apologetic, restricted to utterance of some feeble notes of concern. And though both the EU and the US had almost similar level of intervention, it can be said that it was the latter which had more impact. In Sri Lanka, EU's efforts did not succeed to halt the violence. This was due to ineffectiveness of the EU's civilian means of power along with its failure to coordinate well with other like-minded actors like India and the US. China played deplorable but the most decisive role in the conflict. Based on the results of these four case studies in South Asia it can be said that the EU is not a global ‘force for good'. This is so, not necessarily because the EU was pursuing its interests instead of promoting the good like democracy and security though this is partly true as was case in Pakistan and India but because the EU was/is not even a force in South Asia. The normative power of the EU was toothless while the civilian means of influence were largely ineffective when applied. The impact of the EU is limited its neighbourhood where the normative and civilian powers do work but hardly in countries of far-flung region like South Asia.

  • Force
  • Normative power
  • Civilian power
  • Global 'force for good'
  • Democracy promotion
  • Democratisation
  • Conflict prevention
  • Conflict management
  • Conflict resolution
  • EU's policy
  • Royal authoritarianism in Nepal
  • Military dictatorship in Pakistan
  • Gujarat ethnic violence
  • Sri Lankan civil war
  • South Asia
  • International actors
Citation (ISO format)
ULLAH KHAN, Masih. Is the EU a global “force for good”? Four case studies in South Asia. 2012.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:24659

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Creation12/17/2012 9:16:00 AM
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