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By introducing FPA theory to the field of EU enlargement, the dissertation contributes towards closing this gap.The analysis also contributes to the theoretical debate on the public opinion-foreign policy nexus within FPA by revealing that neither a bottom-up nor a top-down logic sufficiently explains the relationship between mass opinion and enlargement policy.This dissertation applies theories of foreign policy analysis (FPA) to the field of EU enlargement to explain the influence of public opinion over the enlargement policies of EU member states.
Given their importance, however, it is perplexing that reparations negotiations are treated only marginally within majority of IPE literature focused on the inter-war era while the historical accounts are replete with misconceptions.
Vilified as a “crushing settlement” imposed on Germany through the “vicious” Treaty of Versailles that concluded the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, purely “structural” factors are seen as having pushed two Allied victors, France and Britain, to pursue a bill of astronomical magnitude.
Materially destroyed France, still suspicious of a surprise attack of its neighbour, saw large German reparations as a key facet of their security strategy.
Britain, on the other hand, vied for German gold as it struggled with £7.4 billion national debt while planning to return to the gold standard in the context “structural” gold shortage.
Moreover, it argues that most research on public opinion tends to be US-centric and emphasizes that theoretical models can be improved by considering country-specific variables such as institutional frameworks or political culture.
Overall, the paper aims to broaden our understanding of the complex and often interactive relationship between public opinion and foreign policy.As a result, the process whereby territory is materialised is considered to be a pivotal part of the legitimation of national sovereignty in general.Finally, this thesis also tries to address some of the socio-political consequences that spring from those political performances, especially those related to immigration, such as: the mass killing, and the random imprisonment of illegal immigrants caught at the borders.Changes in public opinion may influence the coalition dynamics between and within political parties or set limits for decision makers at different stages.The EU’s lasting ‘enlargement fatigue’ leaves no doubt that public opinion has affected at least some member states.The dissertation shows that, while established theories of EU enlargement have focused on either geopolitical variables, economic factors or European identity to explain enlargement preferences, they have neglected domestic dynamics within member states, such as public opinion, as explanatory factors.In fact, previous research on EU enlargement has mostly focused on analysing the determinants of public opinion instead of looking at its possible causal influence.Drawing particularly on Derrida, but also on other poststructuralist scholars, this thesis argues that the binary matter/language (real world/discourse) is an undecidable terrain , insofar as it takes place on an undecidable ground, the terrain of ‘the political’, to paraphrase Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe.As a consequence, this thesis intends to challenge both the notion that there is an ontological and stable demarcation between a material world and a linguistic one and the assumption that this demarcation is Subsequently, I engage with territoriality and borders in International Politics, in an attempt to demonstrate how the intuitive materiality of those structures must be constantly (re)enacted.The ambition is to write an intellectual history of the discourses and practices that led liberals to believe in an empirical and normative triumph that had never occurred.I challenge the intentions and implications of Kant’s philosophies, the “end of History” appropriation of Hegel’s dialectics, and the faulty presuppositions of Huntington’s thesis.