The eastern enlargement of the European Union: Interests, power, and norms

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies

First Committee Member

Joaquin Roy, Committee Chair


This dissertation looks at the reasons for the European Union's expansion to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The main question it asks is why the European Union decide to enlarge eastwards. Focusing primarily on the events leading up to the Copenhagen European Council of June 1993, the dissertation argues that the enlargement was made possible because the existing members of the European Union were able to reach agreements which accommodated their divergent preferences. The leading causes of expansion were security and economic interests. Influential domestic constituencies, such as farming lobbies, greatly informed policy-making at the national level, which subsequently impacted the Union's common positions. As such, the dissertation takes a liberal intergovernmental view of expansion, whereby it assigns the primary role to the member states of the European Union, principally the larger ones. As such, the primary contribution of the dissertation lies in the empirical testing of a rationalist account of the eastern enlargement.


Political Science, International Law and Relations

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