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An analytical framework for postmortems of European foreign policy: should decision-makers have been surprised?

This paper develops a novel theoretical framework for the conduct of postmortems after major foreign policy surprises for the European Union and its member states.

Nikki Ikani, Aviva Guttmann & Christoph O. Meyer
01 January 2020
Taylor & Francis Online

It proposes a taxonomy of surprise which elucidates how officials or organisations experience both sudden and slower-burning threats. It argues that foreign policy surprises in European settings require a closer look at who was surprised, in what way, and when. The paper outlines six vital performance criteria and three key attenuating factors, allowing us to better ground judgements about foreign policy performance as well as to advance realistic recommendations on how to improve.

Read the article on the website of Taylor & Francis Online.

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