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European Union Foreign Policy and the Global Climate Regime

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Simon Schunz

Ever since the first international negotiations on climate change in the early 1990s, the European Union has aspired to play a leading role in global climate politics.
This book engages in a longitudinal analysis of the EU’s participation in and impact on the United Nations climate regime.
It provides not only comprehensive insights into the evolution of EU foreign climate policy, but also a thought-provoking audit of the potential and limits of the EU’s influence in a major domain of global affairs.
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Chapter 7. Explaining EU Influence on the Global Climate Regime

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← 274 | 275 →CHAPTER 7

Chapters 2 to 6 of this study analysed EU influence by tracing ­actors’ interactions in the global climate regime through different time periods. In so doing, they generated numerous findings on the Union’s foreign policy activities and their effects and provided explanations of its influence for each analysed period. This chapter strives to generalize within the longitudinal case. It does so by, first, synthesizing findings so as to identify patterns of EU influence and of all pre-specified and newly emerged ­potential explanatory factors over time and to explore associations between them; second, by identifying outliers in these patterns; and third, by engaging in explanation-building on the scope conditions that account for EU influence via arguing or bargaining.

Building on the analytical framework developed in Chapter 1, Table 5 synthesizes the evidence for all studied time periods and key variables. In so doing, it allows for a visualization of its main results by incorporating various levels of analysis, different theoretical perspectives considered as complementary (institutional, interest-, power-, value-based) as well as dynamics over time. It thus fully accounts for the complexity of the instances of social reality studied in this work. At the same time, it accomplishes – wherever applicable and not previously achieved – a conversion of empirical data into more abstract categories to facilitate the formulation of explanations. Concepts coded in this manner are treated, if possible, as continual (e.g. regarding the interest constellation: very homogenous-homogeneous-heterogeneous-very heterogeneous) (Miles/Huberman 1994: 57–58).

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