The EU an Actor Sui Generis? A Comparison of EU and ASEAN Actorness

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Series Details Vol.50, No.4, July 2012, p653-669
Publication Date July 2012
ISSN 0021-9886
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The core argument of this article is to advocate the recognition of regional organizations as international actors. Conceptions of the European Union (EU) as an international actor are not new.

However, a great deal of the literature regards the EU as sui generis in nature and lacking in external capabilities when compared to nation-states. Other regional organizations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fare even worse. This article notes that we need to move beyond a state-centric view of world politics to assess the actor capabilities, nascent or advanced, of other players in the global arena, particularly regional organizations.

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