The EU an actor sui generis? A Comparison of EU and ASEAN actorness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The core argument of this article is to advocate the recognition of regional organizations as international actors. Conceptions of the European Union (EU) as an international actor are not new. However, a great deal of the literature regards the EU as sui generis in nature and lacking in external capabilities when compared to nation-states. Other regional organizations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fare even worse. This article notes that we need
to move beyond a state-centric view of world politics to assess the actor capabilities, nascent or advanced, of other players in the global arena, particularly regional organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653–669
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

The definitive version is available at:
JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies and Blackwell Publishing.


  • regional organizations
  • international actors
  • European Union
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • external capabilities
  • EU


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