The introduction explains the challenge posed by the European security and defense policy to the nature of the European state. Building on a critical dialogue between political sociologists and EU scholars, it places military integration in the broader perspective of state formation since the 16th century. The puzzle is to understand why a large number of political leaders, defense planners, and diplomats are willing, without an external threat, to surrender key elements of state sovereignty. The argument is that the interpenetration of European states has created strong incentives for state actors to coordinate their foreign and defense policies at the EU level. More specifically, the development of ESDP is analyzed as the creation of transgovernmental field through fifty years of intense military and foreign policy cooperation among Europeans in the EU and also in NATO. Other theoretical perspectives on European defense (realism, liberalism, constructivism, and foreign policy analysis) are then presented and critiqued.
Keywords: constructivism, European security and defense policy, European Union, foreign policy analysis, liberalism, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, political sociology, realism, state formation, state sovereignty, transgovernmentalism
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