0027: the EU : an international agent in Palestine? : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts in Politics at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This thesis examines the ability of the European Union (EU) to impact on the Palestinian people and their institutions. Before using the formal concept of actorness to examine the extent of this impact, it presents a model of actorness that synthesises aspects of Bretherton and Vogler’s and Sjösjedt’s models. It uses the components of this model as a series of lenses through which to focus on and examine various facets of the EU’s influence. The analysis deals with diplomacy, aid, and the effects of the unexpected Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections. The thesis finds that the EU’s early lack of diplomatic direction improved for a period but was limited by its consistent inability to have an effect if it ignored the US. In the field of aid, the EU has been a more successful actor. However, the EU’s best efforts in these spheres have been undone by two EU blunders. First, it classified Hamas as a terrorist organisation and subsequently felt unable to provide aid to a Hamas-run government. Second it joined the Quartet in the hope of increasing its own diplomatic clout, but found that it had given the US the opportunity to erode its ability to act as an independent financial agent.
European Union, EU actorness, Hamas, Palestinian politics