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Comparative analysis of EU foreign policy in Syria with normative power Europe and realist power Europe

Konur, Banu Nesibe
One of the most important of debates over the role of the EU in post-Cold War period has been the Normative Power Europe which is built on the idea that the EU does not act as traditional actors in terms of foreign policy and has a norm-setter and promoter role in post-Cold War period. The Normative Power Europe concept has been highly embraced by the EU Representatives, as well. However, the anarchic structure of the system can limit the actions of actors and acts as an important determinant in decision-making. This thesis aims to analyze to what extent the EU acts a normative power and where the restrains of the structure of the international system begins in EU foreign policy through Syria crisis. Therefore, firstly a theoretical framework will be laid out in light of Normative Power Europe and Realist Power Europe. In the next chapter, EU foreign policy towards the Middle East, the EU-Syria relations prior to the crisis and EU reactions to the key development of the Syrian crisis in its chronological order will be covered. This will be followed by the analysis of the EU reactions to the key developments of the crisis through the lenses of Normative Power Europe and the Realist Power Europe. Finally, the findings will be use to make a deduction for the question of "what kind of identity does the EU have as an international actor in the world politics?".