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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Gender Dynamics of Foreign Policy Actors: Gendering the European External Action Service

European Union
Foreign Policy
Laura Chappell
University of Surrey
Laura Chappell
University of Surrey

The EU has been a key actor in shaping European gender regimes in post-war Europe. There is a substantial amount of work on the role of the EU as a gender actor, particularly in the area of employment and social policy (Kantola, 2010; Guerrina, 2005). Walby’s (2005) work on the EU as a gender regime is particularly relevant here, as it provides a useful framework for the analysis of emergent values and norms. The adoption – and consistent referral – to equality as a fundamental value of EU, raises important questions about the way the EU goes about promoting “soft” values in an international setting, particularly as the EU is trying to promote itself as a normative actor.

David & Guerrina (2013) have already explored the lack of reflexivity and its impact of normative power Europe in relation to the ENP. This paper develops this argument but looks at the role of the European External Action service in promoting gender equality as a normative value in European foreign policy. This paper looks at if – and how – gender has been mainstreamed in the EEAS. Specifically, it looks at opportunities and constraints to the adoption of a gender sensitive approach to European foreign policy. The paper explores the internal dynamics of the EEAS, thus concentrating on how the gender dynamics within the institution shape the way gender is mainstreamed in the European external dimension.
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