Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2019;13(1):e0008.

The European Union’s Superpower Revisited

Anna Beatriz Leite Henriques ORCID logo

DOI: 10.1590/1981-3821201900010008

‘International Relations and the European Union’, edited by Christopher Hill, Michael Smith and Sophie Vanhoonacker, is the 3rd edition of a book which is part of ‘The New European Union Series’, by the Oxford University Press. The book is a collection of 20 articles by several authors engaged in research on the European Union (EU), and highlights the importance of creating a link between the internal integration and the policymaking process of the EU, and the development of its international relations 1 in a broader sense. It aims to understand, first and foremost, how the EU produces international action, followed by how the international dimension comes into its policymaking and, in so doing, help identify and enlighten the key elements leading to change in the Union’s international stance.

Its main objective is to contribute to the process of opening European Studies to a desired overlap with the fields of Political Science and International Relations. According to Hill, Smith and Vanhoonacker (2017), the small group of experts on the EU’s external relations did not traditionally use to reach out to wider fields of knowledge, but to focus rather on the institutions of European foreign policymaking and/or the relevance of external relations regarding the integration process. Gradually, these experts started to “emerge from the European Studies fortress” (HILL at al., 2017, p. xiv) in order to engage in dialogue with mainstream Political Science and International Relations.

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The European Union’s Superpower Revisited

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