f_0016601_14353 - European Union Conditionality: Coercion...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2009 1 European Union Conditionality: Coercion or Voluntary Adaptation? Hans Agné * Abstract Research on the enlargement conditionality of the European Union sustains opposite positions on the question of whether it represents a means of coercion or an invitation to voluntary adaptation. However, it reveals no dialogue between advocates of these opposed views. In an attempt to replace this gap in communication with a research agenda, this paper undertakes a theoretical investigation of the main arguments for regarding compliance with conditionality either as an effect of coercion or as a voluntary choice. It is argued that both of these views are premature and require further empirical and theoretical clarification. It is suggested, moreover, that coercion and voluntary adaptation are best viewed as complementary rather than competing descriptions of complying with conditionality. Since the end of the Cold War the European Union has made use of conditionality in an increasing number of policy areas. Lending programs, trade agreements, foreign aid, and the Eastern enlargements have been promulgated through processes in which countries are required to meet certain conditions. Conditionality is also part of an established practice in global governance, featuring most notoriously in the development programs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. And although trends like China’s economic engagement in Africa and the repayments of foreign debts in South America might limit the impact of Western conditionality, its scope and political significance remain incontestable. Indeed, in Angola, Belarus, Cuba, Indonesia, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, and many other places, people continue to be subject to conditions set for them by international powers.
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2009 2 A considerable amount of research has analyzed the enabling factors and transformative powers of conditionality. 1 Among the specific conditions covered in this literature are liberal democracy, human rights, the rule of law, good governance, and market liberalism. Most of this research, however, has been positive rather than normative; and what is more, it has been undertaken with little attention to the fundamental question: What is conditionality? This is the general problem which I propose to focus on in this paper – and especially on its implications for concepts of coercion, voluntary choice, and normative justifiability. 2 From one perspective conditionality can be defined simply as the practice of setting conditions for the provision of a good from one actor or organisation to another. 3
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Anchustegui during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0016601_14353 - European Union Conditionality: Coercion...

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