2013 年 2013 巻 33 号 p. 33-55
The global environment in which the EU and other actors are constituted has changed significantly over the past twenty years, as the international system of the 16th century gives way to the global life of multipolarity. What this change suggests is that such widespread global transformations necessitate a rethinking of both power and actorness in global politics. This article argues that in a more global era the understanding of normative power, including the EU’s normative power, is more vital than ever. This globalising, multilateralising and multipolarising era requires a reconsideration of the nature of power and actorness and the theorisation of ‘normative justification’ in this context. This reconsideration is necessary because processes of globalisation have empowered transnational actors such as global credit ratings agencies; because multilateralising processes have empowered international fora such as the G20; and because multipolar processes have empowered emerging actors such as the BRICS. Second, the global era requires a reassessment by rethinking the nature of power, in particular because the breaking old dichotomies of ‘hard power’ vs. ‘soft power’ demands the reintroduction of an ideational dimension in the form of normative power. Here a discussion of ‘normative justification’ in action is useful in illustrating a rethinking of nature of power. Third, within this context of power and actors the article rethinks actorness because new global actors such as transnational movements, regional organisations, global governors, and emerging economies demand new thinking on how these actors are constituted through their use of new forms of power. Finally, the article argues that in this global era, the rethinking of power and actorness are crucial aspects of understanding the EU and understanding normative power in global politics.