Positioning as Normative Actors: China and the EU in Climate Change Negotiations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article focuses on the communication tools employed by the European Union (EU) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to project themselves as normative actors and their construction of specific role conceptions in the context of global climate change negotiations. The empirical spine of the article consists of a discourse analysis of 134 documents released by the EU and China on the issue of climate change and climate change negotiations between the 2008 Copenhagen and the 2015 Paris Climate Summits. The findings reveal that both the EU and China go to great lengths to position themselves as ‘responsible global citizens’, employing relatively consistent framing devices. Not only are the findings interesting when it comes to identity-building of the EU and China as foreign policy actors, they also hint at more generic parameters along which the role ‘normative actor’ is constructed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Early online date29 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2020


Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wunderlich, J.‐U. ( 2020) Positioning as Normative Actors: China and the EU in Climate Change Negotiations. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.13019.  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.


  • EU, China, Normative Actor, Climate Change Negotiations

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