Loughborough University
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A transnational proposition: exploring cross-border cooperation among research institutes in foreign and security policy across wider Europe

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posted on 2015-11-24, 09:39 authored by Lena Sucker
The purpose of this research project is to analyse the opportunities and challenges that the foreign and security policy research institutes face in transnational cooperation across wider Europe. By specifically examining the capacities of non- and quasi-governmental actors to operate and cooperate at transnational level, the research informs the choices presented by the ongoing restructuring of the foreign and security policy sphere. The increasing deterritorialisation of foreign and security policy issues calls for transnational or multinational approaches to resolve them. As nation states fall short of the appropriate capacities, it is of interest to investigate how non- and quasi-governmental actors can contribute to transnational interaction. Therefore, their tools and capacities to operate and cooperate in the transnational sphere need to be established in the first place. In this context a broader geographical focus is chosen in order to study a more differentiated situation, instead of the already relatively integrated case of the European Union. The thesis first studies cooperation among research institutes in broader terms under consideration of their socio-political environment. It outlines differences in their organic development dependent on the geographic affiliation of the institutes, and identifies their tools as well as several defining characteristics. This is followed by an analysis of the fieldwork, discussing processes, opportunities and challenges in transnational cooperation as perceived by staff in research institutes. Subsequently, the thesis takes a more detailed look at applied cooperation among research institutes. Here it traces patterns and formats of interaction, and then delves into a case study on project- based cooperation that provides functional insights regarding research institutes cooperation across borders. In studying cooperation among research institutes from various perspectives, the research enables to investigate the integration among the different narratives. The study integrates a range of issues and concepts in an original manner, therefore it contributes to several significant debates. On the face of it, the thesis adds to the identification of a role for non- and quasi-governmental actors in an increasingly deterritorialised foreign and security policy sphere, using the example of research institutes. To address this aspect, the study considers both the broader implications of socio-political and economic interrelations for cooperation, as well as the detailed functional level of interaction. Moreover, based on the choice of geographical focus, the research project contributes to the literature on EU-Russia relations. Herein it adds to the extant literature by offering a perspective which acknowledges the implications of high politics but emphasises the role of non- and quasi-governmental actors. Beyond that, the thesis contributes to the theoretical debate on foreign and security policy in choosing a non-traditional approach to examine a non-traditional issue. Post-structuralism serves to facilitate a critical review of the construction of cooperation among Russian and EU-based public policy research institutes.


Departmental Studentship



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies


© Lena Sucker

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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