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postgraduate thesis: Substantial, symbolic, and supplementary : making sense of the European Parliament's roles in EU relations with China from a role theory perspective

TitleSubstantial, symbolic, and supplementary : making sense of the European Parliament's roles in EU relations with China from a role theory perspective
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Vogt, CR
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yan, S. [嚴少華]. (2016). Substantial, symbolic, and supplementary : making sense of the European Parliament's roles in EU relations with China from a role theory perspective. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThe Lisbon Treaty has brought about a revolutionary change to the powers of the European Parliament (EP) as an actor in the European Union’s (EU) external relations, yet there is still a perceptual gap and a ‘scholarship deficit’ when it comes to making sense of the EP’s foreign policy role. The major perspectives of democratic theory, foreign policy analysis, new regionalism and multi-level governance are limited in their explanation of the purposes and meanings of the EP’s foreign policy actions, they do not provide us with comprehensive understanding of the EP’s nature and particular roles within the EU’s unique foreign policy structure. This thesis applies a role theory perspective to analyze the EP as an autonomous foreign policy actor whose role needs to be understood in the context of the EU’s unique foreign policy structure. Role theory provides a meaningful tool to capture such an agent/structure relationship and investigate the nature of the EP as an actor in EU foreign policy. By examining the EP’s role conception, role performance and role impacts in the field of trade, human rights and inter-parliamentary relations with China, this thesis finds that the EP has subscribed to two general role conceptions which largely define the purposes and meanings of the EP’s foreign policy actions vis-à-vis China. On the one hand, the EP sees itself as a watchdog exercising democratic legitimacy and accountability over EU foreign policy towards China. On the other hand, it conceives of itself as a norm entrepreneur in line with the liberal-idealist understanding of the EU. To carve out and perform its roles, the EP adopts multiple strategies of persuasion, coercion, shaming, shaping discourse, symbolic manifestation, and communicative actions, etc. In terms of impacts, this thesis concludes that the EP plays substantial, symbolic, and supplementary roles in EU relations with China. In the areas of trade, the EP plays a substantial role as a norm and policy advocate, subjecting a technocratic EU policy into a broader normative context. In human rights promotion, the EP plays a symbolically important role as the ‘conscience of Europe’, which legitimizes and empowers it to convey the EU’s human rights concerns and press for human rights onto the agenda of EU-China relations. In inter-parliamentary relations with China, the EP plays supplementary roles as a political ambassador, socializer and mediator, which contributes to the EU’s overall approach to China. These findings are not only relevant for the EP per se, but also have wider implications for both EU foreign policy and EU relations with China.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
Dept/ProgramModern Languages and Cultures
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/253228

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorVogt, CR-
dc.contributor.authorYan, Shaohua-
dc.contributor.author嚴少華-
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-14T02:02:21Z-
dc.date.available2018-05-14T02:02:21Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationYan, S. [嚴少華]. (2016). Substantial, symbolic, and supplementary : making sense of the European Parliament's roles in EU relations with China from a role theory perspective. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/253228-
dc.description.abstractThe Lisbon Treaty has brought about a revolutionary change to the powers of the European Parliament (EP) as an actor in the European Union’s (EU) external relations, yet there is still a perceptual gap and a ‘scholarship deficit’ when it comes to making sense of the EP’s foreign policy role. The major perspectives of democratic theory, foreign policy analysis, new regionalism and multi-level governance are limited in their explanation of the purposes and meanings of the EP’s foreign policy actions, they do not provide us with comprehensive understanding of the EP’s nature and particular roles within the EU’s unique foreign policy structure. This thesis applies a role theory perspective to analyze the EP as an autonomous foreign policy actor whose role needs to be understood in the context of the EU’s unique foreign policy structure. Role theory provides a meaningful tool to capture such an agent/structure relationship and investigate the nature of the EP as an actor in EU foreign policy. By examining the EP’s role conception, role performance and role impacts in the field of trade, human rights and inter-parliamentary relations with China, this thesis finds that the EP has subscribed to two general role conceptions which largely define the purposes and meanings of the EP’s foreign policy actions vis-à-vis China. On the one hand, the EP sees itself as a watchdog exercising democratic legitimacy and accountability over EU foreign policy towards China. On the other hand, it conceives of itself as a norm entrepreneur in line with the liberal-idealist understanding of the EU. To carve out and perform its roles, the EP adopts multiple strategies of persuasion, coercion, shaming, shaping discourse, symbolic manifestation, and communicative actions, etc. In terms of impacts, this thesis concludes that the EP plays substantial, symbolic, and supplementary roles in EU relations with China. In the areas of trade, the EP plays a substantial role as a norm and policy advocate, subjecting a technocratic EU policy into a broader normative context. In human rights promotion, the EP plays a symbolically important role as the ‘conscience of Europe’, which legitimizes and empowers it to convey the EU’s human rights concerns and press for human rights onto the agenda of EU-China relations. In inter-parliamentary relations with China, the EP plays supplementary roles as a political ambassador, socializer and mediator, which contributes to the EU’s overall approach to China. These findings are not only relevant for the EP per se, but also have wider implications for both EU foreign policy and EU relations with China. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.titleSubstantial, symbolic, and supplementary : making sense of the European Parliament's roles in EU relations with China from a role theory perspective-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineModern Languages and Cultures-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043962782603414-

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