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The EU as a security actor in Central Asia: minor but not marginal

Abstract : The article asks how the EU exerts influence in the challenging geopolitical environment of Central Asia, thus in an ‘out of Europe’ area where the EU faces the competition of other actors such as Russia and China. Studying this question within the sphere of regional security, it is argued that the EU relies on three strategies: First, the EU’s engagement focuses on ‘niche’ areas of security that are not occupied by other external actors. Second, it constructs an image of itself being an ‘expert’ without any geopolitical ambitions, thereby mitigating fears in the region of a ‘New Great Game’ and differentiating itself from other powers. Third, the EU creates proximity and legitimacy through a discourse depicting Central Asia as the EU’s ‘far neighbourhood’. These findings suggest that while not being a major security actor in the region, the EU has established itself as a relevant ‘niche’ actor that takes the role of a ‘consultant’ rather than of a power.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 12:14:38 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 1:59:53 PM

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Olga Spaiser. The EU as a security actor in Central Asia: minor but not marginal. L'Europe en formation. Revue d'études sur la construction européenne et le fédéralisme, Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE), 2015, 1/2015 (375), pp.83 - 105. ⟨hal-02186409⟩

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