Europe and the World: The Problem of the Fourth Wall in EU-ASEAN Norms Promotion

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Series Details Vol.23, No.2, June 2015, p238-252
Publication Date June 2015
ISSN 1478-2804
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The EU regards itself as an important actor on the world stage. Yet an actor does not really see the audience clearly, as the theatre is normally dark. This renders it difficult to gauge the reaction of the recipients of the script or narrative. The term ‘the fourth wall’ conceptualizes the idea of audience. This audience, as recipients of the EU's script, have not been examined as rigorously as is required, to date. This article examines how the EU seeks to have an international impact in its promotion of regionalism to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It argues that there is a need to better understand the fourth wall in the EU's self-projection and that the EU may well be obliged to ‘break the fourth wall’ in the international arena.

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