The Politics of Normative Power Europe:Norm Entrepreneurs and Contestation in the Making of EU External Human Rights Policy


The literature on Normative Power Europe (NPE) largely omits the question of why the EU chooses to focus on particular norms in the first place. This paper goes beyond the assumption that the EU simply externalizes its internal norms, because such a perspective does not sufficiently explain why the EU prioritizes certain norms over others, particularly in the case of contested norms. Using LGBTI rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in the EU's external human rights policy as two cases, I demonstrate how norm entrepreneurs – both external and internal – have been essential for bringing these norms to the EU's attention. Only after initial internal resistances had been overcome, were these norms able to reach the EU's external agenda. The two cases illustrate the internal political struggles that precede norm selection, supporting recent calls for a more politics-oriented perspective on Normative Power Europe.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jenichen, A. (2020) The Politics of Normative Power Europe: Norm Entrepreneurs and Contestation in the Making of EU External Human Rights Policy. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies,, which has been published in final form at  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: LGBTI rights,freedom of religion or belief (FoRB),norm contestation,norm entrepreneurs,norm selection,normative power Europe,Business and International Management,Business, Management and Accounting(all),Economics and Econometrics,Political Science and International Relations
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Related URLs: https://onlinel ... 1111/jcms.13157 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-12-28
Published Online Date: 2020-12-28
Accepted Date: 2020-10-21
Authors: Jenichen, Anne (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9787-5812)



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 December 2022.

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