'Resilience is a strategic priority' : conceptual analysis of the European Union’s Global Strategy
The aim was to study how resilience is defined, which themes it linked to and how its relevance is reasoned in the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS). The concept is generally connected to facing risk and adversity and therefore it was intriguing that it is employed over 30 times in the less than 60 pages of the strategy. Pragmatic turn in social sciences was one possible way to explain the rise of resilience in politics. There are already several articles written on the EUGS and resilience as its strategic priority, but they have studied these questions. Analysis was done through conceptual history – a method strongly impacted by linguistic turn. Since resilience is rooted in psychology, I first studied several psychological conceptual analyses, then analysed how resilience is defined and used in the EUGS and finally mirrored these interpretations to each other. Comparison was used to highlight what is typical for the EUGS’s interpretation and usage of the concept. Every part of the strategy in which resilience was employed was examined and parts where it was given an important role enlarged on. Analysing the usage in the EUGS included looking into similarities and differences in usage of the concept and its relations to other concepts within the strategy and lastly studying which spheres of policy it was connected to. The study showed that in psychology resilience is dominantly regarded a process that enables attaining positive development under challenging circumstances. It requires internal attributes, external support and realistic interpretation of faced adversity. While the EUGS defined resilience similarly, the stress was clearly on internal factors. The EUGS defined resilience as ability to reform, and emphasized internal resources in coping from risks. According to pragmatic turn, risks were not clearly defined, but they were treated as unpredictable threats. Aim was to build general endurance. Resilience was most importantly connected to regional issues near and beyond the Union’s borders. The EUGS does not offer new solutions for promoting it, the most emphasized means are already exciting policies such as European Neighbourhood Policy. Resilience seems to be a tool for speaking of old risks as new ones, dismissing the fact that this is not the first time they are addressed. ...
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