From ‘Thin’ to ‘Thick’ Foreign Policy Europeanization: Common Foreign and Security Policy and Finland

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Series Details Volume 21, Number 4, Pages 579-599
Publication Date 2016
ISSN 1384-6299
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The value of Europeanization for empirical research on foreign policy has been a much questioned topic recently. This article argues that Europeanization helps us to ask researchable questions regarding foreign policy.

To support this argument, it will introduce an analytical framework that identifies two directions (adaptation and projection) and two dimensions: ‘thin’ Europeanization which refers to changes in policies and organizational structures, and ‘thick’ Europeanization implying learning, socialization, and identity change.

The article proposes a way to better integrate the sociological institutionalist aspects of the Europeanization process into the adaptation- projection dynamism. To demonstrate the framework, the article looks at Finnish foreign and security policy and argues that the Europeanization of Finland has been more profound than previous studies indicate.

The European Union (EU)’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has played a significant role in a number of transformations in Finnish policies since 1995, resulting in ‘thick’ Europeanization.

In addition to national adaptation, Finland has, with varying outcome, tried to project ideas, preferences and models from the national to the European level.

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