Abstract

This article sketches the theoretical framework that informs the analyses in the Special Issue. Two issues drive the inquiries. First, the bottom-up approach to EU security that tracks contingent security practices and their performers. Various EU actors engage in intense political struggles which bring out the contentious character of security policy and nuance the claim of its extraordinary and thus apolitical nature. Analytically, this shows that the meaning of EU security needs to be empirically investigated rather than solved by definitions which may have a limited heuristic value against the EU's multifaceted security field. Secondly, the analyses bring to bear the blurring of the divide between the external and internal security in EU policy, both in the sense of the consolidation of the EU project as such and regarding the EU's policy towards its neighbours. The externalisation of security concerns and the EU's state-building activities in its neighbourhood are examples thereof.