The European Union (EU) in Afghanistan after August 2021: The Logic of Practice

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Ludovica Marchi


The processes of peacemaking, mediation, and compromise are complex for a country visited by violence. This article explores whether the European Union (EU) would impose its values (human and individual rights), or settle for viable solutions while aiming to encourage the Afghan government to embrace diplomacy. The EU’s policy advice documents show a commitment to building support according to the western formats. This article investigates the central question ‘regarding whether opportunities exist “in” and “through” practice when EU officials’ practical sense makes diplomacy the self-evident way to interact with Afghanistan’ by applying the practice approach to the EU embroiled in Afghanistan after August 2021. It considers diplomacy as a development connected to social relations and views micro-level dynamics as the site within which to construct diplomacy. It builds on a research design framed by the theoretical concepts offered by the practice approach and by the three parameters that shape the analytical methodology supporting a paradigm shift for the EU. The research agenda also includes insights into developments in Afghanistan, after August 2021, because this shapes the knowledge base necessary for the EU to meditate on how to change its approach toward dealing with Afghanistan under the Taliban. As a supplementary to the literature on practice approaches and their implications for scholars interested in European studies, this empirical investigation argues that the EU’s diplomatic practices should be represented by socially meaningful patterns of action if the EU aims to impact other countries in global politics, such as in this instance of seeking to re-orient events in Afghanistan. The primary sources of the European Parliament and Parliamentarian debates are central in supporting this argument.


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