This book argues that Europe, through the European Union (EU), should act as a great power in the 21st century.

The course of world politics is determined by the interaction between great powers. Those powers are the US, the established power; Russia, the declining power; China, the rising power; and the EU, the power that doesn’t know whether it wants to be a power. If the EU does not just want to undergo the policies of the other powers it will have to become one itself, but it should differ in its strategy. In this book, Sven Biscop seeks to demonstrate that the EU has the means to pursue a distinctive great power strategy, a middle way between dreamy idealism and unprincipled pragmatism, and can play a crucial stabilizing role in this increasingly unstable world.

Written by a leading scholar, this book will be of much interest to students of European security, EU policy, strategic studies and international relations.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

Values and geopolitics

Europe is who and where it is

chapter 2|16 pages


What can Europe do, what does Europe want?

chapter 3|30 pages

Europe and the (other) great powers

chapter 4|15 pages

Europe and its neighbours

chapter 5|30 pages

Europe, military power, and NATO

chapter 7|12 pages

Brexit, strategy, and the EU

Britain takes leave

chapter 8|9 pages


Which Europe are we doing this for?