SPIRe Seminar Week 4 “Not so Normative Europe: A Western Power in the Making?”

SPIRe’s week four seminar features Prof. Ben Tonra presenting his paper co-authored with Dr. James Ker-Lindsay of the London School of Economics “Not so Normative Europe: A Western Power in the Making?” Wednesday, February 13th from 12:00-13:00 in G316 Newman (Arts) Building, UCD Belfield.  The seminar is open to all.


This article interrogates the predominant narrative that the European Union is a normative power in international affairs. While the EU promotes itself as a champion of the international rule of law, a supporter of multilateral institutions and a proponent of the peaceful resolution of conflicts, it can be shown that the commitment of the individual member states, as well as EU institutions, to these norms is less certain. Drawing on the case of Kosovo, this article highlights how, when the circumstances so demand, leading members of the Union and EU institutions appear to have elevated the need to maintain western solidarity over and above the promotion and protection of normative values and in so doing have indicated a continued adherence to traditional Westphalian modes of power politics.

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