The Government Sponsored Network in European Union External Relations

Friday, July 14, 2017
JWS - Stevenson Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Kostas Kourtikakis , Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ekaterina Turkina , HEC Montreal
Evgeny Postnikov , Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
There is a long tradition in the literature on global governance of scholars examining the role of transnational networks in a variety of policy sectors, ranging from financial regulation to human rights. We argue that the European Union is an innovator in transnational network governance, because it is at the center of a hub of networks that are different in nature and operation from transnational networks already identified in the literature. More specifically, EU institutions are conscious and prolific producers of networks that connect private actors (businesses and civil society organizations) from EU member-states and third countries for the purpose of promoting EU interests and values.  We call these structures government sponsored networks, to denote that even though they involve private actors, which participate in those networks voluntarily, the networks themselves are not spontaneous bottom-up creations. Instead, they are created with EU funding to promote objectives (policy diffusion, economic development, stability and security, etc.) espoused by governmental actors (in this case, EU institutions and EU member-states). The paper illustrates these points by examining comparatively transnational networks in EU relations with the United States and the European Neighborhood.
  • Transaltantic Networks Paper CES Glasgow.pdf (437.3 kB)