Workshop 'Comparative perspectives on the substance of EU Democracy Promotion'

The workshop, which will take place on 24 June 2011, addresses the following research questions:

  • Is there a particular EU-specific conception of democracy underlying its democracy promotion activities?
  • How can we characterise the substance that other actors promote in third countries and how does the substance of EU democracy promotion differ compared to other actors?
  • Does the substance that EU Member States promote through their national
  • policies differ from the substance that the EU advances, and if so, how? What factors account for possible differences?
  • How do EU Member States influence the substance of EU democracy promotion?
  • How does coordination between the EU and other international democracy promoters shape the content of the EU’s policy (e.g. by sharing the work, hiding behind other actors)?
  •  Is the substance of EU democracy promotion influenced by policy paradigms that were developed by other international actors? Can we detect learning processes in EU institutions that concern the substance of democracy promotion? Is the EU a norm maker or a norm taker in this regard?

Workshop Programme

08:30 - 09:45 - Arrival

08:45 - 09:15 - Welcome and introduction of the participants

09:15 - 11:00 - Panel I: Conceptual & theoretical perspectives (Chair: Fabienne Bossuyt)
• Conceptualising Politico-economic Models of EU and US Democracy Promotion: A Comparative Approach (Bridoux Jeff & Kurki Milja) - Discussant: Anne Wetzel
• Democracy: Disaggregated and Reshuffled? Rereading the ‘Inside-Outside’ Analogy of European Union Democracy Promotion (Schmidt Jessica) - Discussant: Michelle Pace
• Explaining the shape of the EU’s democracy promotion (Urdze Sigita & Knodt Michelle) - Discussant: Jan Orbie

11:00-11:15 - Coffee Break

11:15- 13:00 - Panel II: Comparing the substance of EU and international democracy promotion in the post-Soviet space (Chair: Michelle Pace)
• The clash of good intentions? Comparing the substance of European and international democracy promotion activities in Belarus (Bosse Giselle)  - Discussant: Tsveta Petrova
• The ‘what’ of democracy promotion in the post-Soviet space: a comparative analysis of the EU, the CoE and the OSCE (McDonagh Ecaterina) - Discussant: Oscar Pardo Sierra
• Drivers and Brakemen - Multipolar External Influences in Building Up Democratic Institutions in Post-Orange Ukraine (Melnykovska Inna & Schweickert Rainer) -Discussant: Barbara Lehmbruch

13:00-14:00 - Lunch Break

14:00 - 15:45 - Panel III: Comparing the substance of EU and US democracy promotion (Chair: Eline De Ridder)
• Aiding democracy in an authoritarian ‘aid darling’: Comparing the substance of EU and US democracy promotion in Ethiopia (Del Biondo Karen) - Discussant: Rinda Bosker
• Western & Central Asian Perspectives on Democracy & Democratization: Comparing the Models of Democracy Promoted by the EU, US & Kazakhstan (Omelicheva Mariya) - Discussant: Sigita Urdze
• EU and US democracy promotion in Georgia and Azerbaijan: Euro-Atlantic Dilemma in the Caucasian Triangle (Shafagatov Ramin & Pardo Sierra Oscar) - Discussant: Mariya Omelicheva

15:45-16:00 - Coffee Break

16:00 - 18:00 - Panel IV: Other perspectives on the substance of EU democracy promotion (Chair: Vicky Reynaert) 
• Promoting Rule of Law in Central Asia: The EU Regional Rule of Law Initiative as Part of a Comprehensive Democratization Strategy? (Axynova Vera) - Discussant: Fabienne Bossuyt
• EU assistance for civil society in Kosovo: a step too far for democracy promotion? (Fagan Adam) - Discussant: Giselle Bosse
• Herding Cats? EU Democracy Promotion and Coordination with Non-State Donors in Sudan and Georgia (Lehmbruch Barbara & Rinda Bosker) - Discussant: Karen Del Biondo
• A New Generation of Democracy Promoters?: Eastern Europe Supports the Democratization in the Neighborhood (Petrova Tsveta) - Discussant: Ecaterina McDonagh

18:00-18:15 - Coffee Break

18:15-18:45 - Conclusions, Next Steps, Questions, etc.

• Comparative perspectives on the substance of EU democracy promotion (Bossuyt Fabienne, Orbie Jan, Pace Michelle & Wetzel Anne)

Workshop Venue: Conference Centre 'Het Pand' (Room: Oude Infirmerie)   Onderbergen 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium

For further enquiries: mailto: comparativeperspectives[at] or fabienne.bossuyt[at]

The workshop is financed by

The Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham

The Centre for EU-Studies of Ghent University

The University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES)






The British International Studies Association (BISA)