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Normative power and the liberal peace: a rejoinder to John O'Brennan

Chandler, David C. (2008) Normative power and the liberal peace: a rejoinder to John O'Brennan. Global Society, 22 (4). pp. 519-529. ISSN 1360-0826

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600820802366458


This rejoinder to John O'Brennan reasserts the case that the EU enlargement process has a depoliticising effect, which weakens the connections between Western Balkan states and their societies. It suggests that O'Brennan's response is more apologia than analysis; evading issues raised by asymmetrical relations of power between the EU and Western Balkans states. Here the EU is idealised, with the ascribed status of a “normative actor” projecting power merely through “soft power” mechanisms. The points raised in rejoinder seek to clarify that the more “muscular” use of conditionality and direct management of policy reforms inevitably limit the possibilities for public and political debate and consensus-making. Moreover, they distance political elites from their societies. In particular, the use of political conditionality is highlighted, to demonstrate that whether “hard” powers of imposition or “soft” powers of conditionality are used matters less to those on the receiving end of external imposition than to the EU itself, which has attempted to distance itself from its use of executive powers in the region.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:8252
Deposited On:07 Jul 2010 16:24
Last Modified:07 Jul 2010 16:24

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