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The Quest for the National Interest

A Methodological Reflection on Czech Foreign Policy

Petr Drulák and Mats Braun

The concept of national interest belongs among the most widely used and abused concepts in the foreign policy debate. This volume illustrates how the term can be used as a meaningful analytical tool. It introduces three criteria (relevance, domestic consensus, and external acceptance) which serve to identify national interest. The authors apply these criteria to Czech foreign policy making and provide some interesting findings concerning a country’s possibilities to define and pursue its national interest. Since the authors use four different methodologies (case studies, discourse analysis, grounded theory, and ethnography), the volume also shows the variety of possible ways to analyse national interests.
Content: Petr Drulák: Introduction: How to Explore National Interest and Why – Petr Kratochvíl: National Interest and its Legitimacy: An Attempt at a New Approach – Vít Beneš: The Demand Side of the EU Enlargement: Understanding our Neighbours – Mats Braun: Europeanization of the Czech Environmental Policy – Petr Kratochvíl and Ondřej Horký: Eastern Promises? Czech Ambiguity in the European Neighbourhood – Nik Hynek and Vít Střítecký: The Fortunes of the Czech Discourse on the Missile Defense – Michal Kořan: Czech Foreign Policy in Austrian and Slovak Newspapers – Mats Braun: The Czech Perspective on the Future of the EU: No Consensus in the Offing – Elsa Tulmets: The European Neighbourhood Policy: How Does National Identity Make its Way to Brussels? – Věra Veselá: Human Rights Promotion: Czech Republic and the EU – Mats Braun and Petr Drulák: Conclusions: National Interests in Foreign Policy.