How to Prevent the Unraveling of Western Policies toward Wider Europe

Chapter Eleven of The Eastern Question

11/08/2016 | by Hiski Haukkala

Chapter 11 of The Eastern Question: Russia, the West, and Europe’s Grey Zone, co-published by the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), 2016, 264 pp. The publication was generously supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Category: International Policy/Relations, Russia

In this chapter, Finnish political scientist Hiski Haukkala discusses the role that the West – the US/NATO and the EU – has played in the developments in Eastern Europe.

Hiski Haukkala is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the School of Management at the University of Tampere in Finland and a special adviser in the Policy Planning Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. He also serves as a Visiting Professor at the Natolin Campus of the College of Europe, and has held visiting positions at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, the Universiy of Turku, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, University of Stirling, and the European Union Institute for Security Studies. He has a doctorate from the University of Turku.

The question of Western unity of purpose vis-à-vis Eastern Europe is as vexing as it is old. During the Cold War the issue was framed in terms of Western solidarity in the face of potential Soviet military aggression as well as the unity of overall approaches concerning the Soviet Union and wider European security. In its crudest form the question was put in binary fashion; the West was seen as having two options—either hanging together or hanging separately. During the post-Cold War era the question lost most of its salience and was replaced with a perhaps more technocratic question concerning the mutual complementarity of visions and actions: is the West more—or perhaps less—than the sum of its parts in terms of effecting positive change beyond its boundaries, and how do the different actors and policies relate to and interact with each other? In the final analysis the question boiled down to the West’s ability to guide and support the transition of the eastern part of the continent toward liberal democracy and market economy.

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