The Influence of Domestic Political Factors on Foreign Policy Formation in an EU Member State : The Case of Slovakia and the Kosovo Status Process

Lezova, Katarina. 2013. The Influence of Domestic Political Factors on Foreign Policy Formation in an EU Member State : The Case of Slovakia and the Kosovo Status Process. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines how Slovakia formulated its foreign policy regarding the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence in February 2008. Even though considerable external pressure to recognise Kosovo was brought to bear on Bratislava by the United States and key members of the European Union, particularly during its non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (2006-2007), the thesis shows how the decision not to recognise Kosovo was ultimately driven by domestic political factors.

Moreover, it demonstrates that the prevailing external view that Slovakia’s position was shaped by concerns over the issue of the ethnic Hungarian minority is incorrect. Instead, the foreign policy-making process was primarily driven by the leader of the Slovak opposition, Mikuláš Dzurinda, as he sought to regain domestic political power. While the Hungarian minority issue did play a role in the debate, its significance extended only to cementing the Slovak position and preventing any re-consideration of its view.

Thus, although the Slovak non-recognition policy was the result of an interaction between several factors, this thesis shows that it was, in essence, an internal affair to Slovakia. Although key members of the European Union, as well as the United States, sought to secure EU unity on the question of Kosovo, this thesis shows that there are limits to the EU’s ability to shape the foreign policies of its members – even smaller and newer ones – when strong domestic opposition to a particular course of actions exists in those states.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Additional Information:

Please contact gro@gold.ac.uk for a pdf of this thesis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Politics

Date:

2013

Item ID:

9460

Date Deposited:

06 Nov 2013 10:22

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:54

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/9460

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