Reference : Normative Policy Coherence for Development in EU External Policies: A Case Study of t...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Normative Policy Coherence for Development in EU External Policies: A Case Study of the European Union's Development and Trade Policies towards Vietnam
Häbel, Sandra mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Koff, Harlan mailto
Gills, Barry mailto
Högenauer, Anna-Lena mailto
Masujima, Ken mailto
Ranta, Eija mailto
King, Michael mailto
[en] Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) ; NPCD ; Norms ; European Union (EU) ; External Policies ; Development-Trade Nexus ; Normative Coherence
[en] The global discourse on people-centered development appeals for a normative dimension in
donor policies. As a major donor organization, the European Union (EU) presents itself as a
normative actor on the global stage. However, it is often criticized for lacking normative
practice. This dissertation addresses this criticism and assesses the EU’s normative policy
coherence for development by examining norm implementation across development and trade
policies. The guiding research questions are the following: Are the EU’s development and trade
policies coherent in implementing norms; and if not, why are they incoherent?
Normative policy coherence for development is defined as the coherent implementation of EU
norms (democracy, freedom, gender equality, good governance, human rights, justice, liberty,
non-discrimination, peace, rule of law, solidarity and sustainability) across development and
non-development policies. A case study of EU development and trade policies addressing
Vietnam is used to illustrate normative policy coherence for development in the transition
phase from an EU-Vietnam donor-recipient relationship to a mutual trade relationship.
This research contributes to existing literature on policy coherence for development, public
policy, normative power Europe and regionalism through the in-depth analysis of normativity
in EU policy implementation. It examines EU normative power in the EU-Vietnam relationship
with particular focus on normative policy coherence and places this relationship in the context
of EU-ASEAN relations.
A qualitative methodology is utilized in this dissertation is supported by the case study design
within which the congruence method has been used for the analysis. The data set is comprised
of European Union policy documents and semi-structured interviews conducted by the author
in Brussels, Belgium, and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which were coded and
analyzed in Atlas.ti.
The results show that normative policy coherence for development is undermined for
several reasons. First, in policy implementation, norms are seen as a political matter and
not as a development or trade matter. In contrast to policy guidelines, which are infused by
normative commitments such as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
subsequent implementation stages do not correspond to this commitment. Second, policy
networks, which could function as an opportunity for cooperation and coherence, are split
by sector, which reinforces the divide between political, developmental and economic matters
and in doing so they undermine normative policy coherence. Third, the EU’s relations with
ASEAN do not directly undermine EU-Vietnam relations and, therefore, normative coherence
in policies addressed at Vietnam is only indirectly affected by EU interests in ASEAN.
Causes of normative incoherence in EU policy implementation can be linked to the
institutional divide between political and technical matters, which are reinforced by sectoral
divisions in the delegations abroad.
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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