Kuehnhardt - Chapter 05 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Kuehnhardt - Chapter 05

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Opportunity or Overstretch?

Opportunity or Overstretch? The Unexpected Dynamics of Deepening and Widening

A major issue is the relation between deepening and widening. For a deeper look we shall use the concept of "imperial overstretch." first advanced by Paul Kennedy in the 1980s1 and originally developed for the US. It also can be taken as an inspiration for the current debate on the outer borders of the EU and further attempts at institutionally strengthening the Union. Based on this premise, it is often argued that the sum of engagements, responsibilities and liabilities the EC/EU has taken on board outweigh its economic and political capacity to shoulder this burden and deliver the means necessary to achieve the self-set goals.2 The capability-expectations gap3 created by the EU will, according to this logic, increase with every round of enlargement and consequently result in overstretch. In this chapter, we shall consider different dimensions of possible overstretch in the EU but also opportunities that were and are used by European actors. Widening thus might turn out to give unexpected dynamics for deepening.

Opportunity or Overstretch?Opportunity or Overstretch? The Unexpected Dynamics of Deepening and Widening Wolfgang Wessels and Thomas Traguth A major issue is the relation between deepening and widening. For a deeper look we shall use the concept of
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