The European Union as a Global Counter-Terrorism Actor


The European Union as a Global Counter-Terrorism Actor

9781782548270 Edward Elgar Publishing
Christian Kaunert, Professor of International Security, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland and Professor of Policing and Security, International Centre for Policing and Security, University of South Wales, UK, Alex MacKenzie, University of Liverpool, UK and Sarah Léonard, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 78254 827 0 Extent: 192 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on

After the death of Osama Bin Laden and the demise of Al Qaeda, the EU is increasingly threatened by new jihadi terrorist groups such as ISIS, as exemplified by recent terror attacks on Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin and Manchester. This book investigates the role of the EU in dealing with such groups as part of its counter-terrorism efforts, by outlining the increasing role of the EU as an external counter-terrorism actor.

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This significant book provides a comprehensive analysis of the global dimension of European Union (EU) counter-terrorism. It focuses on the growth of the EU as a global counter-terrorism actor, from it having almost no role in 2001 to becoming a significantly greater force in recent years.

Analysing one of the most important policy areas of European integration, authors Christian Kaunert, Alex MacKenzie and Sarah Léonard consider the key question of why the EU may have become a global actor in counter-terrorism. The authors then develop a unique theoretical approach in the form of actorness and collective securitization, which analyses the EU’s evolution as a counter-terrorism actor in different case studies, such as counter-terrorism in the transatlantic relationship, North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Overall, this book highlights that the EU is, in fact, becoming a counter-terrorism actor of growing importance and with an ever-diversifying number of policy options available.

Addressing topical matters, this book will be a key resource for scholars, researchers and students in fields such as European studies, international relations, political science and governance. It will also attract the attention of practitioners, politicians, non-governmental and civil society organisations.
Critical Acclaim
‘If in doubt whether the European Union is a capable global counter-terrorism actor, read this excellent book written by top-notch experts. Starting from the perspectives of securitization and actorhood, you are guided through the complex history of EU counter-terrorism, demonstrating how terrorism strongly propelled institutionalization, coordination and legislation in the EU internal security theatre. With mounting concerns about violent extremism, disinformation campaigns and hybrid conflicts, this scholarly book offers crucial insights for the future of Europe’s security architecture.’
– Monica den Boer, Netherlands Defence Academy

‘In The European Union as a Global Counter-Terrorism Actor, Christian Kaunert, Alex MacKenzie and Sarah Léonard offer an original theoretical and empirical account of the ways in which the EU has become an actor in global counter-terrorism. Drawing upon the concept of “collective securitization” and the “actorness” framework, this book fills a distinct gap in the scholarship on European security and counter-terrorism. It shows the extent to which the EU’s role in external counter-terrorism has grown in importance and provides a number of case studies revealing numerous policy options available.’
– Oldrich Bures, Metropolitan University Prague, Czech Republic

‘Kaunert, MacKenzie and Léonard have delivered in this volume a thorough and detailed roadmap to the policies, actors and processes that have shaped the EU’s external counter-terror role. In their measured, finely researched analysis, they have meticulously documented the overlooked – almost unexpected – growth of the EU as a significant player in global counter-terrorism. This is a superb resource and a must-read for any person who wishes to understand how the EU is involved in combatting terrorism abroad.’
– Javier Argomaniz, University of St Andrews, UK
Contents: Preface Introduction to The European Union as a Global Counter-Terrorism Actor 1. EU counter-terrorism, collective securitization, and global actorness 2. The collective securitization of terrorism in the EU 3. Institutions in EU counter-terrorism 4. Counter-terrorism in the transatlantic relationship 5. EU counter-terrorism and South Asia 6. EU counter-terrorism, Iraq, and Syria 7. Conclusion to The European Union as a Global Counter-Terrorism Actor Bibliography Index
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