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The European Union is a peculiar actor in the international system. Neither nation state nor international organization, it has nevertheless an important position in the international system and in many global policy fields. This growing importance of the Union in global politics is also increasingly matched with its self-representation as a ‘force for good’ and a more normative disposition. At the same time, the concept of ‘normative power Europe’ has been debated quite controversially in the academic community.
In recent years the European Union has been representing itself as a vanguard in environmental policy and claims a leading role in global environmental politics. Thus, the EU is committed not only by international agreements and environmental policy regimes, but also by the inclusion of environmental questions and demands in bilateral and multilateral agreements, especially in relations with the countries of its ‘neighborhood’. Two countries of the Mediterranean neighbourhood are claimed to have particular relations with the European Union – Jordan and Morocco. In both countries’ the European Union is very active in environmental matters, by supporting the institutional development, supporting projects and promoting particular policy issues.
However, while the European Union’s external activities as well as concepts, such as the normative power concept, are highly debated and well researched, there is a strong European-perspective bias prevailing here. Methodologically, the thesis therefore argues for a change of perspectives towards the outsiders’ view. Indeed, research on the external perception of the European Union is fairly recent yet increasing. The conceptual base of analyzing others’ perceptions is still, however, severely underdeveloped. The thesis will therefore not only promote the general methodological perspective of analyzing outsiders’ perceptions, but also address the conceptual gap here.
Connecting the theoretical and methodological approaches with the policy framework, the thesis’ main research questions are: How is the European Union as environmental actor perceived in the Mediterranean partner countries? How is self-representation of the EU as a normative actor received in the Mediterranean partner countries? How is the perception of the European Union influenced?
Methodically, the project promotes a mixed methods approach, in which both qualitative and quantitative data is strongly integrated to answer the above research questions. In general, over 50 environmental and water experts in Jordan and Morocco were interviewed and asked to fill out structured questionnaire. Based on this empirical base, findings from both qualitative semi-structured interviews and quantitative questionnaires are integrated to answer the first two research questions about the perception and reception of the European Union as environmental actor in the Mediterranean partner countries. Is also allows for an exploratory analysis of factors influencing these perception, based on the collected quantitative data and the quantified qualitative data.
|Since 11/2009:||PhD Candidate at the IEE, Research stays in Jordan (03-05/2011) and Morocco (05-07/2011)|
|Since 07/2010:||Fellow of the Ruhr-University Research School, Recipient of RUB Grant (DFG funded)|
|01/2009 - 03/2010:||Research Associate responsible for teaching quantitative methods and statistics in BA (Introduction to Statistics) and MA (Multiple and multivariate methods)|
|10/2008 - 12/2008:
04/2007 - 07/2007:
|Research Assistent / Student Assistent at the Chair for Empirical Social Research, Ruhr-University Bochum|
|09/2003 - 07/2008:||Diplom in Social Science (Dipl.-Soz.Wiss.) at the Faculty for Social Science, Ruhr-University Bochum.
Thesis: "Jordanische Frauen in Bewegung. Die Einflussfaktoren auf die Mobilisierung der Frauenbewegung in Jordanien."
|10/2007 - 01/2008:||Internship at the Friedrich Ebert-Foundation Amman, Jordan|
Courses/workshops taught within the program of PhD International Development Studies: