Auteur Francesca PICCIN
Directeur /trice Professor Simon Hug
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

This research questions the factors explaining different forms of cooperation in the field of the European Union Humanitarian Aid Policy (EUHAP). This topic interest consists in the uniqueness of the EUHAP. This policy is the only EU foreign policy presenting an institutional and legal arrangement based on the simultaneous coexistence of three different forms of cooperation. They are unilateralism, international cooperation, and delegation. These three alternatives represent the instruments at EUHAP disposal to manage complex external interventions. Such interventions “reflect the proliferation of serious crises around the world” . These three intervention alternatives imply a different EU and EU Member States involvement in the EUHAP interventions. In legal terms, according to the Lisbon Treaty, the Union shall have competence to carry out activities and conduct a common policy; however, the exercise of that competence shall not result in Member States being prevented from exercising theirs (European Union 17 December 2007:Art 2C, Par 4). In the debate between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism, this institutional configuration varies between two extremes, the states-exclusive and the EU-exclusive action. In the middle, a third alternative option consists in the EU – EU Member States joint action.

Which factors do influence the choice between one out of the intervention alternatives?

In the first chapter, the three intervention alternatives are framed into the theoretical debate between neo-realism and neo-liberalism on cooperation profitability (Baldwin 1993a; Grieco 1993a; Baldwin 1993b; Grieco 1993b). Accordingly, unilateralism represents the absence of cooperation, international cooperation a soft form of cooperation, and delegation a hard form of cooperation (Abbott and Snidal 2003; Abbott, Keohane et al. 2003). Assuming actors rationality, cooperation profitability is measured on the basis of a calculus of costs and benefits (Tierney and Weaver 2004; Lake and McCubbins 2006; Lyne, Nielson et al. 2006; Milner 2006; Pollack 2006; Bradley and Kelley 2008; Tierney 2008). Actors are first called to decide if any form of cooperation is more profitable than unilateralism. Once they opted for cooperation, they have to choose between international cooperation and delegation (Keohane and Nye 1970; Keohane and Nye 1974; Keohane 1975; Keohane and Nye 1977; Axelrod 1984; Keohane 1984; Axelrod and Keohane 1993; Snidal 1993; Abbott and Snidal 2003; Abbott, Keohane et al. 2003).

In the second chapter, cooperation is framed into the specific context of the EUHAP where cooperation profitability is at the core of the intergovernmentalism vs. supranationalism debate. It questions benefits and costs of strengthening and centralizing cooperation at the EU level. As said, the EUHAP is the only EU foreign policy presenting such a unique institutional flexibility between full intergovernmentalism and full supranationalism. In the case of the EUHAP the calculus costs/benefits in favour of an intervention alternative depends on the specific intervention context.

The main intervention context of the EUHAP is international crises (Pollack 2002b; Pollack 2006; Versluys 2008). Crises are per se complex, and need flexible responses, mainly in a global interdependent context ( t Hart, Rosenthal et al. 1993:12; Rosenthal and Kouzmin 1997:277; Boin and t Hart 2003:545-546; Boin and Ekengren 2009:285). It then becomes necessary to question which crises characteristics can explain actors’ intervention choices (Quarantelli 1993; Rosenthal and Kouzmin 1997; Boin and t Hart 2003; Stern 2003; McConnell and Drennan 2006; Svedin 2009:1,19). This research hypothesizes that the characteristics having an impact on the profitability of intervention alternatives are urgency, uncertainty and threat.

This research in defining crises characteristics first refers to the analytical model proposed by Lina Svedin (2009). It analyses the organizational cooperation in crises intervention by measuring the level of urgency, uncertainty and threat characterizing a crisis (Rosenthal and Kouzmin 1997:290-294; Stern 1999; Svedin 2009:9-20 and ch. 7). The attention is put on the inter-organizational arrangement, and questions the factors influencing such organization. This analytical model aims at answering to two questions: How do organizations interact in crises in terms of cooperative and competitive behaviors and strategies? […] How are the identified behaviors and strategies linked to the characteristics of crises, such as threat, urgency, und uncertainty? (Svedin 2009:11-12).

This research then makes a step forward, and questions the impact that urgency, uncertainty and threat have on the profitability of the three EUHAP intervention alternatives.


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