Rethinking and Reshapingthe EU’s Democracy Supportin Its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods



  • Non-learning Within a Constellation of Communities of Practice: The Case of the EU and Its Democracy Support in the Arab World
    Christian Anchrainer, Michelle Pace

    This article addresses the puzzle of why the European Union (EU) struggles to learn from ineffective attempts to support democratization in the Arab world but instead continuously (re-)produces democracy support malpractices. To better understand this phenomenon, we draw from practice theory and conceptualize EU democracy support as practices performed by a community of insiders who act within a complex constellation of communities of practice. Due to the way in which communities function, decision-makers do not critically reflect on the background knowledge on which they base their practices and thus do not learn how to improve them. This constellation model offers a unique take on non-learning within the EU and in (policy-making) groups more generally. We illustrate the proposed conceptual framework through an empirical analysis of EU democracy support in Egypt, showing that the EU performs practices similar to those before the 2011 Revolution due to its inability to learn.

  • Strategic Europe Blog Piece "Georgia’s Youth Protests Call for an EU Policy Rethink"
    Nona Mikhelidze

    The EU’s failure to leverage strict conditionality emboldened Georgia’s government to pursue regressive policies. Ongoing protests should prompt Brussels to empower Georgian grassroots as catalysts for democratic change.

  • SHAPEDEM-EU Position Paper: Ambitions for the Future of EU Democracy Support
    Andrea Gawrich et al.

    This Paper gives insights in the projects integrated analytical design and its implementation in three phases as well as two additional perspectives which SHAPEDEM-EU perceives to be of focal relevance to both democratisation and autocratisation. It concludes with an outlook on the expected impact of the project on society, policy and science.

  • SHAPEDEM-EU Concept Manual
    Christian Anchrainer et al.

    The SHAPEDEM-EU Concept Manual represents the project’s common understandings of its essential terms. SHAPEDEM-EU’s goal is to rethink, reshape and review the EU’s support for democratic politics in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhoods. The diverse and multi-perspective constellation of SHAPEDEM-EU’s partners, objectives and activities require a unified set of concepts to contextualise the ongoing work. Over the course of the project’s first 8 months, its partners collaborated to define the concepts listed in the manual. It serves as a guidance for users to familiarise themselves with how SHAPEDEM-EU perceives democracy support and its related concepts.

  • Europe’s Contested Democracy and Its Impact on the EU’s Democracy Support Policies Toward Its Neighbours
    Rosa Balfour

    Through a bird’s eye view of thirty years of EU democracy support, highlighting the controversies in its pursuit as well asits endurance as a foreign policy goal, this paper explores the under-researched question of how democratic contestation inside the EU and its member states influences EU foreign policy and democracy support.