An assessment of institutional-learning by the EU in state-building in Afghanistan
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This thesis assesses institutional-learning by the European Union (EU) in Afghanistan. The assessment is carried out by delineating the developments and changes in relevant EU policies through the years 1993-2010 using process tracing. The analysis is based on an extensive review of EU documents, regulations, statements, publications and interviews together with third party evaluations and a survey of the relevant academic literature. The research question which the thesis addresses is to assess whether a policy change in EU state-building efforts is discernible and whether this change can be attributed to institutional-learning or to other causes. It also provides evidence that the state-building efforts by the EU form part of an institutional process of development by the EU to establish itself as a global actor. The assessment therefore focusses around four components: the EU, institutional-learning, state-building and Afghanistan. The aim of the thesis is to analyse the nexus between the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and EU-led state-building in fragile and/or post-conflict countries outside of the Union’s enlargement sphere while taking into account the change in actorness on the part of the EU. This analysis is grounded on two interlocking frameworks. By using data and developments in the Afghanistan country study, elements of the state-building Framework are scrutinised for evidence of the different categories of institutional-learning and adaptation derived from the institutional-learning Framework. By pinpointing the learning processes within the EU as an organisation and in its state-building policies, and by analysing the limitations of its approach to these, the thesis concludes with a recommendation of how to make EU-led post-conflict state-building in forthcoming cases of fragile states more effective.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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