In the balance: An empirical test of competing Neo-Realist theories applied to the EU as an actor in the global balance of power

Michael Friederich Kluth, Jess Pilegaard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The present paper seeks to make sense of recent EU naval capability changes by applying neo-realist theory on the EU as an international actor in the global balance of power. The paper compares three different strands of Neo-realist theory by deducting key predictions about the expected defense posture of the Union and the expected changes in naval capabilities. The predictions are subsequently held up against recent data on naval military build-up in the EU. The paper argues that the observed patterns are best explained not as bandwagoning with the United States, but as a long-term balancing strategy aimed at bolstering the autonomy and international influence of the Union, vis-à-vis other major powers, including the United States.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date23 Jun 2010
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2010
EventECPR - Fifth Pan-European Conference on EU Politics - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 23 Jun 201026 Jun 2010
Conference number: 5


ConferenceECPR - Fifth Pan-European Conference on EU Politics

Cite this