The EU and the Bosnian Civil War 1992-95: The capabilities-expectations gap at the heart of EU foreign policy

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Series Details Vol.14, No.3, September 2005, p297-318
Publication Date September 2005
ISSN 0966-2839
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Using the empirically driven case study of the European Union's response to the Bosnian civil war 1992-95 this article assesses the effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), through Christopher Hill's ‘capabilities-expectations gap framework’. In assessing effectiveness it explores both the expectations placed on the EU and the capabilities the Union was able to deploy. Moreover, this research suggests that the EU was ineffective in responding to the Bosnian crisis. The EU pursued a rigid strategy of diplomatic and economic foreign policy, failing to generate the political will to attempt alternative approaches. This research argues that the capabilities-expectations gap framework is a useful tool for conceptualising the EU's effectiveness but that it under-specifies the importance of the end result of the policy.

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