01 Jun 2004

Theorising European Strategic Culture: Between Convergence and the Persistence of National Diversity

Christoph O. Meyer

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The dynamics and scope of strategic culture-building, in the context of the EU’s aspirations to develop a European security and defence policy (ESDP), is the focus of this working document. It argues that the notion of strategic culture can be useful in assessing the context in which the ESDP will develop further, as well as its performance in matters of conflict prevention, management and resolution. Nevertheless, in order to be conceptually and empirically useful, strategic culture needs to be broken down into collective norms about the means and ends of security policy. The paper examines the convergence thesis and suggests three theories to explain convergence informed by realist, constructivist and regional theories of political change.