• Daniel Primdahl Sørensen
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis examines how the relationship between the European Union and China can be interpreted, when focusing on their respective investments, projects, and influence in the six non-EU states of the Western Balkan. As a case study, this thesis can be regarded as a contribution to the existing scholarly debates and articles on topics about the relationship between the EU and China in different settings. In that matter, when considering the six states of the Western Balkan that aren’t EU member states, the existing debates and papers are primarily centered around how the EU and China are influencing the states, whereas this paper intends to examine the EU-China relationship with the Western Balkans between them. This analysis was done, because the way that the EU and China are approaching these states, are rather different from each other.
In that matter, a theoretical discussion is the center of the analysis of this thesis, where neorealism, neoliberalism, and Complex Interdependence have made the foundation of the discussion. Furthermore, the work of the theoretical discussion will be done in accordance with two separate hypotheses. Thus, the first hypothesis will primarily focus on the assumption, that the relationship between the EU and China in this setting, can be regarded as a state of rivalry, whereas the second hypothesis will focus on the aspects of cooperation, international institutions, and interdependence between the EU and China. In that matter, the first hypothesis will primarily make use of the theory of neorealism, mainly with literature of John J. Mearsheimer, whereas the second hypothesis will make use of neoliberalism and complex interdependence, primarily with literature from John Ikenberry, Robert Keohane, and Joseph Nye. However, both hypotheses will make use of all the theories, and in that matter forming them into a theoretical discussion.
The analysis has shown that many of the main characteristics of these three theories are present, when considering the relationship between the EU and China with the six non-EU member states of the Western Balkan in the middle. The analysis did show that the relationship can be regarded differently, depending on which perspective the relationship is viewed from. The relationship from the EU’s perspective seems to follow some of the neorealists assumptions, whereas the relationship from the Chinese perspective show characteristics of neoliberalism and Complex Interdependence.
In that matter, this thesis might be able to contribute to the ongoing debates, and maybe spark a light on future debates on the relationship between the EU and China, when focusing on their contributions and influence in the states of the Western Balkan.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages67
ID: 471689576