Tom Casier is Reader in International Relations and holds a Jean Monnet Chair. He was Academic Director of the Brussels School of International Studies from 2014 to 2017. He is Deputy Director of the University of Kent's Global Europe Centre and Visiting Professor at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven).

Tom Casier obtained his PhD in Political Science from the KU Leuven. Before joining BSIS he was affiliated with KU Leuven, (as PhD Fellow of the National Fund for Scientific Research and Post-doctoral Researcher), EIPA (European Institute of Public Administration), EHSAL  and the University of Maastricht.

His research interests are in Russian foreign policy and EU-Russia relations, including energy (see research section for details).

Research interests

Tom Casier’s research deals with EU-Russia relations (including energy), Russian foreign policy, European Neighbourhood Policy / Eastern Partnership and Europe and global change. He has a particular interest in issues of identity, perception and power within this field, as well as in theoretical perspectives from Social Psychology. Recent articles have appeared in Geopolitics, Cooperation and Conflict, Contemporary Politics and Europe-Asia Studies. A book ‘EU-Russia relations in crisis’, co-edited with Joan DeBardeleben, is forthcoming with Routledge.

Tom Casier has regularly contributed policy advice to diverse institutions, including the European Parliament and the House of Lords. An extended policy reports ‘EU-Russia relation: which way forward?’ was published with fellow Jean Monnet Chairs in 2016 ( https://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/documents/JM%20Policy%20report.pdf )

Externally funded research:



Research links:  BSIS Research theme:

Russia, the EU and the Neighbourhood: http://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/studying/research/projects/eu-russia.html [85]

Global Europe Centre: https://research.kent.ac.uk/global-europe-centre/


At BSIS Tom Casier teaches courses in the fields of Russian Foreign Policy, International Relations and European Studies.


Tom Casier supervises PhD students in the fields of International Relations and European Foreign Policy. He welcomes in particular doctoral students in the following fields: EU-Russia relations, Russian foreign policy, European Neighbourhood Policy / Eastern Partnership the interaction between the policies of the EU and Russia in the neighbourhood, as well as theoretical perspectives from Social Psychology. 

Current PhD students:
Mario Baumann  - Discursive Interaction in EU-Russia relations.
Camille Callesen - Russia’s Foreign Policy Decision-Making and Behavior towards the Conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine.
Tomislava Penkova - Russia's post-1991 self-image construction, foreign policy and regional integration in the post-Soviet space. 

PhD students who have completed: 

Natalie Brandenburg - Assembling Practices of EU Mediation in Myanmar and Georgia.

Olga Burlyuk - European Union Rule of Law Promotion in Ukraine: Exploring the Effects of Interaction Between the Institutional Contexts.   

Nur Daut - Impact of Policy Networks on the Mobilisation of Environmental Groups in the European Union.   

Erol Kalkan - Europeanisation of Change in Foreign Policy : Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy in the EU Accession Process. 

John Kotsopoulos - Do perceptions matter? Negotiating EU/Africa relations. 

Moritz Pieper - Perspectives on the Iranian Nuclear Programme: Analysing Chinese, Russian, and Turkish Foreign Policies.   

Bojan Savic - The many nascent NATOs: Studying intra-alliance relations through the lenses of game theory. 

Susanne Szkola - Anxiety, Blame and Crisis. Emotions and Ontological Security in the South Caucasus 


Showing 50 of 74 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Casier, T. (2019). The Unintended Consequences of a European Neighbourhood Policy without Russia. The International Spectator [Online] 54:78-88. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03932729.2019.1555224.
    After Russia’s retreat from the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU’s policy towards its eastern neighbours was split up. The internal unintended consequence of the EU’s choice to leave its policy unaltered was a tension between the objective of privileged relations with ENP countries and a promise to recognise the interests of Russia as an equal partner. Externally, the unintended outcome was that this fostered two opposing strategic environments: a cooperative one for the EaP and a competitive one with Russia. In terms of the management of unintended consequences, the EU has actively sought to reinforce its normative hegemony towards EaP countries, while at the same time mitigating certain negative unintended effects.
  • Casier, T. (2018). Gorbachev’s ‘Common European Home’ and its relevance for Russian foreign policy today. Debater a Europa [Online] 2018:17-34. Available at: https://doi.org/10.14195/1647-6336_18_2.
    At the end of the 1980s the Soviet Union’s last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, launched the idea of a ‘Common European Home’. It was part of his campaign for New Political Thinking in foreign policy, which aimed to deideologise the Soviet approach to international affairs, and positioned the country firmly within a European political community and civilisation. While the concept Common European Home has faded away with the Soviet Union, many of its supporting ideas resonate in Russia’s foreign policy discourse under Putin. Four similarities stand out: the preference for a multipolar Europe without dividing lines, indivisible and collective pan-European security, free trade from Lisbon to Vladivostok and intra-European relations founded on international law. But some fundamental characteristics have changed. First, the context of Russian-European relations has altered substantially and many ideas are now used in an antagonistic context, to reject Euro-Atlantic hegemony. Even if the wording often remains similar, the emphasis is now on Russia’s sovereign and independent path. Secondly, the core idea of a unified European civilisation has been replaced by the notion of competition between civilisations. Hereby Russia claims to represent genuine European values, giving the latter a strongly conservative interpretation. Finally, the Eurasian turn in Russian foreign policy has undermined the centrality of Europe in its discourse. Rather than envisaging a collaborative Europe, Russian and EU integration initiatives are seen as rivalling. This evolution of Russia’s vision on Europe did not change abruptly with Putin’s ascent to power but built up gradually in the decade before the Ukraine crisis, against a background of escalating tensions and growing distrust.
  • Casier, T. (2017). The different faces of power in EU-Russia relations. Cooperation and Conflict [Online] 53:101-117. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836717729179.
    This article applies Barnett and Duvall’s taxonomy of power to EU-Russia relations aiming to understand power in its complexity and without a priori theoretical assumptions. Four different types of power – compulsory, institutional, structural and productive - feature simultaneously. It is argued that non-compulsory forms of power are key to understand the logic of competition in EU-Russia relations in the decade preceding the 2014 Ukraine crisis, despite receiving limited scholarly attention. First, a struggle over institutional power, the capacity to control the conditions of the other actor indirectly, appeared from rivalling integration projects and competing norm diffusion. Secondly, power relations were strongly characterised by constitutive forms of power - structural and productive -, in particular the capacity to produce and recognise identities, such as Europeanness. In both fields the EU held a hegemonic position, which Russia increasingly challenged. The geopolitical reading of the regime change in Ukraine in 2014 prompted Moscow to a radical change of strategy, shifting the emphasis in the confrontation to compulsory power. Attempts at direct control, from annexation to sanctions, now dominate relations. Whereas Russia seeks to prevent the Euro-Atlantic community from gaining effective control over Ukraine through destabilisation, this can be labelled ‘negative’ compulsory power.
  • Casier, T. (2016). From logic of competition to conflict: understanding the dynamics of EU-Russia relations. Contemporary Politics [Online] 22:376-394. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2016.1201311.
    To understand the gradual worsening of EU–Russia relations in the decade preceding the Ukraine crisis, it is essential to understand the dynamics of their interaction. This article divides EU–Russia relations into three stages on the basis of changing intergroup dynamics: asymmetrical cooperation (1992–2003), pragmatic but increasing competition (2004–2013) and conflict (2013–present). It draws on the concept of ‘attributional bias’ to explain the escalating logic of competition during the second stage. The EU and Russia started to attribute each other negative geopolitical intentions up to the point where these images became so dominant that they interpreted each other’s behaviour almost exclusively in terms of these images, rather than on the basis of their actual behaviour. With the Ukraine crisis, EU–Russia relations changed from competition over institutional arrangements in the neighbourhood and over normative hegemony to conflict over direct control.
  • Casier, T. (2016). Great game or great confusion? The geopolitical understanding of EU-Russia energy relations. Geopolitics [Online] 21:763-778. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2016.1185607.
    This article explains why a considerable part of the International Relations literature frames highly complex energy relations between the EU and Russia in terms of simple, exclusive geopolitical intentions. Drawing on Construal Level Theory, it addresses the gap between immediate interaction between various private and public actors with their own agendas and individual intentionalities and assumed collective geopolitical intentionalities. Because of the degree of abstraction, collective motivations are attributed to actors like Russia and the EU. This attribution risks to be subject to bias. It is argued that higher psychological distance increases the likelihood of more radical and ideologised framing. These abstract schemes do not follow from the endogenous energy dynamics but are function of a broader logic of competition which has characterised EU-Russia relations.
  • Casier, T. (2015). ????????? ????????? ? ????????????? ??????????????? ????????????? ? ?????????? ???????????? ????? ? ?????? [Attributional bias and the geopoliticisation of EU-Russia relations]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta (Series Politics and International Relations) 6:56-64.
  • Casier, T. (2013). The EU-Russia Strategic Partnership: Challenging the Normative Argument. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 65:1377-1395. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2013.824137.
    Russia–EU relations have often been presented in terms of a normative gap, with the EU appearing as a normative and Russia as a non-normative actor. This article critically analyses this ‘normative argument’ which sees this gap as the cause of tensions. Pleading for a less dichotomous approach to norms and interests, it challenges the normative argument on the basis of the assumed congruence between the norm-driven input and norm-promoting output of European foreign policy. As an alternative, the article explores how the normative agenda in Eastern Europe serves instrumental purposes. Selective norm promotion has the potential to change the hierarchy of identities among post-Soviet states.
  • Casier, T. (2011). The EU’s two-track approach to democracy promotion: the case of Ukraine. Democratization [Online] 18:956-977. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2011.584734.
    This article argues that the EU promotes two forms of democracy in its policy towards Ukraine: formal democracy (institutions and procedures at polity level guaranteeing a free and fair electoral process) and substantive democracy (principles and mechanisms that allow for an ongoing societal control over policy processes). While the first form of democracy is mainly promoted through intergovernmental channels, the latter is promoted both at a transgovernmental and more weakly at an intergovernmental level. The question raised is why more progress has been made in formal democratic reforms in Ukraine (between 2006 and 2009), than in the field of substantive democracy. Two explanations are put forward: the higher visibility of formal democratic reforms in the framework of Ukraine’s legitimacy seeking with the EU and the strategic behaviour of domestic actors. It is argued that institutional democratic reforms are regarded as the litmus test for Ukraine’s feasibility for future EU membership and act to a degree as a sort of ‘self-imposed’ conditionality. This, however, is counterbalanced by strategic behaviour of domestic actors, resisting deeper democratic change to compensate for the power they lose as a result of a more democratic electoral process. The EU’s one-sided emphasis on the promotion of formal democracy over substantive democracy facilitates this.
  • Casier, T. (2011). The Bilateral Relations of the Benelux Countries with Russia: Between Rhetorical Engagement and Competitive Business Interests. Journal of Contemporary European Studies [Online] 19:237-248. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14782804.2011.580912.
    This article explores the willingness of the Benelux countries to coordinate Russia related policies at EU level, contrasting their traditional pro-integrationist disposition and national economic interests. At rhetorical level all three states display a willingness to coordinate policies within the EU. In practice, however, this is dependent on the individual country’s economic interests, with energy being of particular importance in Dutch-Russian relations. There appears to be considerable inter-state competition in obtaining lucrative commercial contracts, undermining a coherent EU approach towards Russia. The traditional sources of influence of small states in the EU are limited in the case of the Benelux and Russia. With their traditional pro-integrationist attitudes having undergone substantial change, the Benelux states lack the leadership and the credibility to be seen as impartial brokers of a coalition for a coherent Russia strategy. Ad hoc coalitions on the basis of converging economic interests appear to be more determining for the coordination of Russia policies within the EU.
  • Casier, T. (2011). To adopt or not to adopt. Explaining selective rule transfer under the European Neighbourhood Policy. Journal of European Integration [Online] 33:37-53. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2010.526709.
    The dominant explanation for limited rule transfer under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is its weak incentive structure, in particular the absence of a membership perspective. However, a certain rule transfer has occurred, albeit in a strikingly selective and uneven way. This article formulates an alternative model for explaining the variance in rule transfer under the ENP. Refuting conditionality and asymmetrical interdependence as having insufficient explanatory value, rule transfer is explained on the basis of three interrelated factors. First, the usefulness of ENP provisions for domestic agendas. Secondly, the process of active legitimacy-seeking with the EU, driven by the subjective perception of accession prospects. Thirdly, the institutional design of the ENP itself, in particular its differentiated approach and lack of finality, which give the policy a strong political character.
  • Casier, T. (2011). The Rise of Energy to the Top of the EU-Russia Agenda: From Interdependence to Dependence?. Geopolitics [Online] 16:536-552. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2011.520862.
    Over the last decade we have witnessed an increasing politicisation of the energy discourse. Today energy relations of the EU are framed in terms of excessive dependence on Russia, qualifying the latter as a security threat. This article puts forward four criteria to define energy relations in security terms: supply vulnerability of the EU, the absence of Russian demand dependence, the dominance of energy over other capabilities, the willingness to link energy to foreign policy objectives. Little support is found to define the dependence on the import of Russian energy resources as a security issue. An alternative explanation is given, attributing growing energy concerns to shifting identities and perceptions in EU-Russia relations, which have contributed to understanding energy relations in competitive and geopolitical terms. Russia has developed a more assertive energy diplomacy, while in the EU sensitivity over energy dependence has grown as a result of changes on the global energy market and of the 2004 enlargement.
  • Casier, T. (2011). Russia’s energy leverage over the EU. Myth or Reality?. Perspectives on European Politics and Societies [Online] 12:493-508. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15705854.2011.622963.
    Today, the EU is less dependent on Russian energy than it was two decades ago. Nevertheless, EU-Russia energy relations are more widely understood in terms of power, security and zero-sum geopolitical competition. This article challenges this Neo-Realist argument. Drawing on Keohane's and Nye's concepts of interdependence sensitivity and vulnerability, it both tests the actual degree of EU energy dependence and the extent to which dependence may create Russian leverage. It is found that the actual EU supply dependence is overrated and is mainly due to the EU's internal divisions. Secondly, Russia's potential leverage is undermined by its high dependence on EU energy demand. Thirdly, its potential energy leverage is at least counterbalanced by other dimensions of asymmetrical interdependence outside the energy context. Explaining how geopolitical power-related explanations became dominant in the analysis of EU-Russia relations, this article refers both to structural changes in the energy market and also to new perceptions that resulted from a renewed geopolitical logic in early decisions over pipelines, changing attitudes as Russia grew stronger and the different nature of the energy markets in the EU and Russia. While geopolitical considerations may occasionally sneak in, the core of EU-Russia energy relations is still predominantly economic and commercial.
  • Casier, T. (2006). European Neighbourhood Policy and the paradoxes of enlargement. Administration and Public Management Review 2.
  • Casier, T. (2006). Putin’s policy towards the West. Reflections on the nature of Russian foreign policy. International Politics 43:384-401.
  • Casier, T. (2005). Macht, ideologie en de ondergang van de Sovjetunie (’Power, Ideology and the Collapse of the Soviet Union’). Nieuwste Tijd 4:58-64.

Book section

  • Casier, T. (2019). Understanding Russia’s security strategy in a context of power. In: Kanet, R. ed. Routledge Handbook of Russian Security. Routledge, pp. 86-96. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781351181242-9.
    When leafing through media reports of the past years, Russia often appears as an omnipotent player, with tentacles all over the world. It is seen as capable of influencing elections in the US, hacking well-protected databases, tipping domestic debates, reversing Assad’s chances of winning the war in Syria, holding European countries in an energy stranglehold and so on. The image of Russia as a threat has become widespread again. It is presented as re-emerging power, challenging Western hegemony. But is Russia indeed so powerful? And what is the role of perception?
  • Casier, T. (2018). From logic of competition to conflict: understanding the dynamics of EU–Russia relations. In: Götz, E. ed. Russia, the West and the Ukraine Crisis. Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Russia-the-West-and-the-Ukraine-Crisis/Gotz/p/book/9781138040243.
  • Casier, T. (2018). Hegemony and contestation: why changing power relations do not mean a change of international order (yet). In: Malashenko, A., Popov, V. and Schulze, P. eds. Making Multilateralism Work: Dialogue for Peace, Security and Development. Berlin: DOC, pp. 65-77.
  • Casier, T. (2018). Incompatible Partnerships: The Inherent Tension in the EU’s East-European Policy and its Implications for Security. In: Cucurescu, V. ed. The European Union and the Eastern Partnership: Security Challenges. ECSA, pp. 67-80.
  • Casier, T. (2018). From logic of competition to conflict: understanding the dynamics of EU-Russia relations. In: Götz, E. ed. Russia, the West, and the Ukraine Crisis. Routledge.
  • Casier, T. (2017). EU-Russia relations in crisis : the dynamics of a breakup. In: Casier, T. and DeBardeleben, J. eds. EU-Russia Relations in Crisis: Understanding Diverging Perceptions. Routledge, pp. 13-29. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/EU-Russia-Relations-in-Crisis-Understanding-Diverging-Perceptions/Casier-Debardeleben/p/book/9781138215061.
  • Casier, T. and DeBardeleben, J. (2017). Conclusion. In: Casier, T. and DeBardeleben, J. eds. EU-Russia Relations in Crisis: Understanding Diverging Perceptions. Routledge, pp. 238-243. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/EU-Russia-Relations-in-Crisis-Understanding-Diverging-Perceptions/Casier-Debardeleben/p/book/9781138215061.
  • Casier, T. (2017). The EU and Russia in a multilateral setting. In: Casier, T. and DeBardeleben, J. eds. EU-Russia Relations in Crisis: Understanding Diverging Perceptions. Routledge, pp. 201-218. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/EU-Russia-Relations-in-Crisis-Understanding-Diverging-Perceptions/Casier-Debardeleben/p/book/9781138215061.
  • Casier, T. (2016). Identities and images of competition in the shared neighbourhood: how EU and Russian foreign policies interact. In: Simao, L. and Piet, R. eds. Security in Shared Neighbourhoods. Foreign Policies of Turkey, Russia and the EU. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 13-34. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/security-in-shared-neighbourhoods-r%C3%A9mi-piet/?sf1=barcode&st1=9781137499097.
  • Casier, T. (2015). National Level: How the EU and Russia Manage Their Unintended Impact on Their Common Neighbours. In: Obydenkova, A. and Libman, A. eds. Autocratic and Democratic External Influences in Post-Soviet Eurasia. Ashgate, pp. 89-108. Available at: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781472441249.
  • Casier, T. (2015). The geopolitics of the EU’s decarbonisation strategy: a bird’s eye perspective. In: Dupont, C. and Oberthür, S. eds. Decarbonization in the European Union. Internal Policies and External Strategies. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 159-179. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/decarbonization-in-the-european-union-claire-dupont/?K=9781137406828.
  • Casier, T. (2015). The EU and Russia. From a marriage of convenience to confrontation. In: Smith, M., Keukeleire, S. and Vanhoonacker, S. eds. The Diplomatic System of the European Union: Evolution, Change and Challenges. Routledge, pp. 129-145. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415732284.
  • Casier, T. (2013). The European Union and Russia: partners by default?. In: Cierco, T. ed. The European Union Neighbourhood: Challenges and Opportunities. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 123-141.
  • Casier, T. (2013). Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In: David, M., Gower, J. and Haukkala, H. eds. National Perspectives on Russia. European Foreign Policy in the Making?. Routledge, pp. 118-131.
  • Casier, T. (2013). The EU’s two-track approach to democracy promotion: the case of Ukraine. In: Lavenex, S. and Schimmelfennig, F. eds. Democracy Promotion in the EU’s Neighbourhood: From Leverage to Governance?. Routledge, pp. 72-93. Available at: http://www.tandf.net/books/search/author/frank_schimmelfennig/.
  • Casier, T. (2012). The EU’s two-track approach to democracy promotion: the case of Ukraine. In: Lavenex, S. and Schimmelfennig, F. eds. Democracy Promotion in the EU’s Neighbourhood: From Leverage to Governance?. Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415523110/.
  • Casier, T. (2012). Are the policies of Russia and the EU in their shared neighbourhood doomed to clash?. In: Kanet, R. E. and Raquel Freire, M. eds. Competing for Influence. The EU and Russia in Post-Soviet Eurasia. Dordrecht: Republic of Letters, pp. 31-53. Available at: https://www.rolpub.com/product_info.php?products_id=147.
  • Casier, T. (2012). The European Neighborhood Policy: Living up to Regional Ambitions?. In: Bindi, F. and Angelescu, I. eds. The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Assessing Europe’s Role in the World. Washington: Brookings Press, pp. 99-117. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/research/books/2012/theforeignpolicyoftheeuropeanunion.
  • Casier, T. (2010). The European Neighbourhood Policy: Assessing the EU’s Policy toward the Region. In: Bindi, F. ed. The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Assessing Europe’s Role in the World. Brookings Institution Press, pp. 99-115. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/press/Books/2009/theforeignpolicyoftheeuropeanunion.aspx.
    In a relatively short amount of time, the EU has become one of the world's most powerful and important actors on the world stage. Now for the first time this volume explores the goals and effectiveness of the EU's special approach to foreign policy; how its policy is perceived by outsiders and the ramifications of those views; the EU's relations with its neighbors, as well as countries well beyond its borders; and how the EU has and can promote its values abroad.

    "One of the most comprehensive studies of the EU foreign policy to date. The EU's foreign policy is not an easy subject to tackle, but the contributors do it in an elegant and cogent manner."
    —Luciano Bardi, University of Pisa and President of the European Consortium for Political Research

    Contributors include Irina Angelescu (IHEID, Geneva), Elena Baracani (Italian Institute for Human Sciences), Mara Caira (IULM, Milan), Maurizio Carbone (University of Glasgow), Tom Casier (University of Kent), Natalia Chaban (University of Canterbury), Marta Dassù (Aspen Institute Italia), Khalid Emara (Egyptian Foreign Ministry), Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira (University of Porto), Serena Giusti (ISPI and Catholic University of Milan), Luca Gori (Italian Foreign Ministry), Alberto Heimler (SSPA—Italian Public Administration Graduate School), Martin Holland (University of Canterbury), Joseph S. Joseph (University of Cyprus), Stephan Keukeleire (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and College of Europe), Finn Laursen (Dalhousie University), Francesca Longo (University of Catania), Roberto Menotti (Aspen Institute Italia), Andrew Moravcsik (Princeton University), Philomena Murray (University of Melbourne), Stefania Panebianco (University of Catania), Tomislava Penkova (ISPI, Milan), Lara Piccardo (University of Genoa), Joaquín Roy (University of Miami), Jeremy Shapiro (Brookings Institution), Alfred Tovias (Hebrew University and Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations), Nicola Verola (Italian Foreign Ministry), Bernard Yvars (University of Montesquieu, Bordeaux).
  • Casier, T. (2008). The New Neighbours of the European Union: the Compelling Logic of Enlargement?. In: DeBardeleben, J. ed. The Boundaries of EU Enlargement: Finding a Place for Neighbours. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 19-32.
  • Casier, T. (2007). The clash of integration processes? The shadow effect of the enlarged EU on its Eastern neighbours. In: Malfliet, K., Verpoest, L. and Vinokurov, E. eds. The CIS, the EU and Russia. The Challenges of Integration. United Kigndom: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 73-94.
  • Casier, T. and Vanhoonacker, S. (2007). The EU as a global player. In: Blom, T. ed. Reviewing Europe. Maastricht University Press, pp. 107-138.

Edited book

  • Casier, T. (2017). EU-Russia Relations in Crisis : Understanding Diverging Perceptions. [Online]. Casier, T. and DeBardeleben, J. eds. Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/EU-Russia-Relations-in-Crisis-Understanding-Diverging-Perceptions/Casier-Debardeleben/p/book/9781138215061.
    Relations between the EU and Russia have been traditionally and predominantly studied from a one-sided power perspective, in which interests and capabilities are taken for granted. This book presents a new approach to EU–Russia relations by focusing on the role of images and perceptions, which can be major obstacles to the enhancement of relations between both actors. By looking at how these images feature on both sides (EU and Russia), on different levels (bilateral, regional, multilateral) and in different policy fields (energy, human rights, regional integration, multilateral institutions), the book seeks to reintroduce a degree of sophistication into EU–Russia studies and provide a more complete overview of different dimensions of EU–Russia relations than any book has done to date. Taking social constructivist and transnational approaches, interests and power are not seen as objectively given, but as socially mediated and imbued by identities. This text will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of European Foreign Policy, Eastern Partnership, Russian Foreign Policy and more broadly to European and EU Politics/Studies, Russian Studies, and International Relations.

Internet publication

  • Casier, T. (2019). Russia and the European Union [Text]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1051.
    Relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia have gone through a dramatic journey from close partnership to confrontation. The narratives of the crisis that erupted over Ukraine in late 2013 and early 2014 are diametrically opposed. The root causes of the crisis are primarily related to colliding visions of the European order that have existed ever since the end of the Cold War. Yet, to understand why the escalation happened at that time, one also needs to understand the dynamics of a process of increasing tensions and dwindling trust. The Ukraine crisis was thus both the outcome of an escalation of tensions and a radical rupture.
    In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis (2003–2013), EU–Russia relations were characterized by a Strategic Partnership. The latter was launched in 2003, closing a decade of asymmetrical EU-centric cooperation and redressing the balance in a formally equal partnership, based on pragmatic cooperation and a recognition of mutual interests. Despite high aspirations, the Strategic Partnership gradually derailed into a logic of competition. Tensions eventually crystallized around colliding integration projects: the Eastern Partnership (aiming at Association Agreements) on the EU’s side and the Eurasian Economic Union on Russia’s side. The crisis erupted specifically as the result of the choice Ukraine had to make between the two options. This choice radicalized the negative geopolitical reading that Moscow and Brussels had gradually developed of each other’s behavior.
    Since the start of the Ukraine crisis (2014), EU–Russia relations have been characterized by a harsh confrontation in the field of high politics. The Strategic Partnership was suspended and the EU imposed sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine. Moscow retaliated and relations became highly acrimonious. Security-related issues dominate the agenda: Russia accuses the West of neo-containment, while Moscow is blamed for undermining the pan-European border regime and security order.
    The stalemate between Russia and the EU (and by extension the Euro-Atlantic Community) is ambivalent. On the one hand, it has taken the form of a systemic crisis, where both parties risk running from incident to incident in the absence of effective pan-European instruments that may constrain or reverse the conflict. On the other hand, in the field of low politics, in particular trade and energy, business often seems to continue as usual.


  • House of Lords, E. (2015). The EU and Russia: Before and Beyond the Crisis in Ukraine. (House of Lords, European Union Committee, 6th Report Session 2014-15, HL Paper 115). House of Lords. Available at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldeucom/115/115.pdf.
  • Korosteleva, E., Casier, T. and Whitman, R. (2014). Building a Stronger Eastern Partnership: Towards an EaP 2.0. Global Europe Centre, University of Kent. Available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/politics/gec/research/index.html?tab=policy-papers.
    The European Union has been working to deepen the economic and political relationship with its Eastern neighbouring countries over the recent years. A set of formal agreements are intended for signature between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova and the South Caucasus states at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit scheduled for 28-29 November 2013. These agreements have provoked a response from the Russian Federation which is seeking to offer an alternative set of economic relationship to the exclusion of the EU.
    In the first Policy Paper to be published, the recently created Global Europe Centre (GEC) sets out a reform agenda that the EU needs to adopt towards the EaP states to enable a more binding relationship. The paper argues that the EU needs to define a ‘next generation’ objective for the EaPas it enters the implementation phase of the current set of Association Agreements (AAs). The proposal is that the EU should set a European Partnership Community (EPC) statusas a bilateral and multilateral goal for the EaP. The paper contends that there is urgency for the EU to think more strategically vis-à-vis its neighbourhood, and create a more clear-cut place for Russia to avoid the current situation of divisive competition.
    Further, the EU needs to reform aspects of its current EaP policy. The EU needs to define a clearer, and measureable set of objectives for its role in the resolution of the ‘frozen’ conflicts of its Eastern neighbourhood; refresh its policy towards Belarus; speed up visa liberalisation to ease travel for citizens of the EU’s neighbouring states; and deepen and broaden civil society engagement by investing more in deep democracy, linkage and people-to-people contacts.
  • Casier, T. (2014). Written Evidence for Inquiry into the EU and Russia, House of Lords (UK), EU External Affairs EU Sub-Committee. House of Lords. Available at: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/eu-sub-c-external-affairs-committee/eu-and-russia/written/14748.html.
  • Casier, T., Whitman, R. and Korosteleva, E. (2013). Global Europe Centre Policy Paper. Building a Stronger Eastern Partnership: Towards an EaP 2.0. Global Europe Centre. Available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/politics/gec/GEC%20Policy%20Paper.pdf.

Research report (external)

  • Casier, T. (2016). Why the EU-Russia Strategic Partnership Could Not Prevent a Confrontation over Ukraine. [Online]. LSE / Dahrendorf Forum. Available at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pdf/LSE-IDEAS-Avoiding-a-New-Cold-War.pdf.


  • Casier, T. (2011). European Foreign Policies. Does Europe Still Matter?. Journal of Common Market Studies 49:1363-1364.
  • Casier, T. (2008). Centraal-Azië: nieuw tornooi der schaduwen?. Internationale Spectator 62:48-49.


  • Brandenburg, N. (2016). Assembling Practices of EU Mediation in Myanmar and Georgia.
    The objective of this dissertation is to study the practices of mediation of the European Union (EU) in order to explore how the understanding of violent conflicts by EU officials is reflected in their ways of responding to them through practices of mediation. In late 2011 the in-house Mediation Support Team of the Union took office as part of implementing the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, adopted by the Council of the European Union in 2009. The group began to develop new practices of in-house mediation support, thereby engaging with the already existing efforts of the Union. This study sets out to trace the emergence of this loosely knitted web of practices - the assemblage of EU mediation - by drawing on the sociology of translation or Actor-NetworkTheory and on concepts of governmentality studies. It builds on the four moments of translation as developed by Michel Callon and refines them with the notion of political rationality and techne to assess what it is that makes the assemblage relatively durable. This dissertation argues that the seemingly incoherent and to an extent diverging practices of mediation are in fact organized around a reasoning on violent conflict which securitizes conflict. It is challenged by a transformative rationale which is advocated by the Mediation Support Team. However, the common denominator of both concepts is an understanding of how to build peace with sustainable economic development, the eradication of poverty, strong and democratic state institutions and an effective system of multilateralism as its main components. Taken together, this reasoning or political rationality gives rise to a state-centred approach to violent conflict which often plays out at the expense of a detailed conflict assessment as it simplifies the multiple realities and narratives of violent conflict. Two case studies of EU mediation practices in Myanmar and Georgia substantiate this argument. They are assessed through analysing the transcripts of 63 semi-structured interviews and textual artefacts. Moreover, the dissertation discovers an intriguing puzzle pertaining to how the political rationality of the assemblage of mediation is resisting any form of scrutinizing the underlying assumptions of the state-centred understanding of violent conflict. On the one hand, the Mediation Support Team fulfils a supportive role and did not manage to establish itself as an obligatory passage point of the assemblage which would define how to engage in mediation and require all other actors to pass through it. In fact, the codified practices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy authorize the Council of the European Union to determine the Union's foreign policy objectives, including mandating an actor to mediate on behalf of the EU, and calling for all efforts of resolving violent conflicts to be in line with Council policies. Accordingly, European Union Special Representatives or Heads of Delegations engage in those practices that engender a peace process. On the other hand, the study found that the practices of mediation support structure the way of thinking of EU officials on peace and conflict in that they introduce specific concepts such as the transformative approach to violent conflict and blur the boundaries between EU actors and external experts, thereby raising the question whether or not this will challenge the Union's concept of violent conflict in the future.
  • Pieper, M. (2015). Perspectives on the Iranian Nuclear Programme: Analysing Chinese, Russian, and Turkish Foreign Policies.
    The Iranian nuclear crisis is a proxy arena for competing visions about the functioning of international relations. Yet, no comprehensive analyses have been conducted so far that use the Iranian nuclear case as an illustration to conceptualise the interaction between ‘hegemonic structures’ and those actors resisting them. This doctoral dissertation is a first step to fill this gap in the literature. It analyses the foreign policies of China, Russia and Turkey towards the Iranian nuclear programme and thereby answers the research question to what extent their policies are indicative of a security culture that resists hegemony. Based on 55 semi-structured elite interviews with experts and decision-makers closely involved with the Iranian nuclear file, this research draws on neo-Gramscian scholarship to analyse resistance to hegemony across its ideational, material and institutional framework conditions.

    The case studies examined show how ‘compliance’ on the part of China, Russia and Turkey with approaches to the Iranian nuclear conflict has been selective, and how US policy preferences in the Iran dossier have been resisted on other occasions. To understand such variation in ‘norm compliance’, this dissertation introduces a two-level model to understand foreign policy discrepancies between a discursive and a behavioural level. Chinese, Russian, and Turkish reluctance to use sanctions as tools in international diplomacy on a discursive level did not prevent the eventual adoption of international sanctions against Iran and Chinese, Russian, and Turkish compliance therewith on a behavioural level. While multilateral Iran sanctions are seen as complying with the rules of the UN system, additional unilateral sanctions are contested on normative grounds and perceived as illegitimate and as an extraterritorialisation of domestic legislation.

    Besides an ideational resistance to unilateral sanctions, the economic impact of these ‘secondary sanctions’ on third country entities constitutes an additional material reason for Chinese, Russian, and Turkish criticism. Their eventual compliance with sanctions lists, however, indicates a level of receptiveness to the economic leverage of US-dominated international financial mechanisms. In this context, the Iran nuclear case serves as an illustration to shed light on the contemporaneous interaction of the forces of consent and coercion in international politics. This research thus makes a critical contribution to key questions of International Relations at the interstice of security governance, proliferation policies, and debates surrounding the co-existence between hegemonic structures and ‘norm-shapers in the making’.
  • Kalkan, E. (2015). Europeanisation of Change in Foreign Policy : Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy in the EU Accession Process.
    The aim of this research is to investigate the influence of Turkey’s European Union (EU) candidature on its foreign policy towards its non-EU neighbours, namely Iran and Syria. It argues that EU conditionality and adaptation pressure for the convergence and alignment of Turkey’s authoritarian political regime to the EU acquis communautaire have produced unintended outcomes in Turkey’s foreign policy towards its non-EU neighbours, in addition to the intended outcomes in Turkey’s domestic politics. To investigate these phenomena, this study poses the following questions: how, to what extent and in what direction has Turkey’s foreign policy changed towards its non-EU neighbours during the country’s EU candidature, and how has Turkey’s EU candidature to the EU played a role in this? This study utilises Europeanization, and the rational choice and historical versions of the new institutionalist theory as its theoretical framework. Interview and case study methods were employed to answer this research question, and triangulation and the creation of counterfactual scenarios were used to substantiate the validity of the study’s findings and interpretation.
    The findings indicate that, first, Turkish foreign policy towards its non-EU neighbours has undergone a deep transformation from being merely security-oriented disengagement to politically and economically-oriented engagement. Secondly, although 1) due to the nature of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the literature on Europeanisation in the field of foreign policy primarily addresses socialisation and experimental learning related to the impact of the EU on member and/or non-member states’ foreign policies, and 2) due to the nature of EU-Turkey relations, the literature on the impact of the EU on Turkey’s foreign policy mostly focus on Turkey’s foreign policy towards Turkey’s EU neighbours and primarily addresses EU conditionality and adaptation pressure in the field of foreign policy as it is related to the impact of the EU on Turkey’s foreign policy, the findings of this research show that, in fact, EU conditionality and adaptation pressure in the fields of democracy and the rule of law, and in the economic realm, has unintentionally left a very visible influence on Turkish foreign policy towards Turkey’s non-EU neighbours by: (a) changing the institutions, institutional structures and institutional power relations, (b) empowering the governmentand civil society against the military–bureaucratic elites in political decision making, (c) accomplishing political and economic stability and growth, (d) increasing respect for and protection of religious and minority rights, and transferring domestic religious and minority issues into the realm of normal politics, and thus (e) changing the institutions, interests, preferences and demands that are involved in foreign policy-making towards Turkey’s non-EU neighbours.


  • Casier, T. and Vanhoonacker, S. (2016). Europe and the World.Redefining Europe’s Role in a Changing World. Palgrave Macmillan.
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