The reasons for examining these four concepts are as follows. The concept of Europe, it can be argued, was a contested concept on the hidden agenda behind the debate about Europeanisation in the 1 980s (see, for example, Wrever 1989a). The concept of the nation/state is important given that the new state/society debate in international relations indicates the relevance of state/society structures in explaining foreign policy and international rela tions outcomes (see, for example, Halliday 1 989) and therefore the potential importance of the meaning of these concepts for explicating foreign policy. Also the concept of security was a contested concept in the 1 980s. The concept of the nature of international relations can be said to be of general value for any analysis of foreign policy. Many other concepts could, arguably, be of relevance (e.g. 'history' or 'man') but for practical reasons the book is restricted to a focus on the importance of these four.