The European Union has long been studied as the culmination of an effort to create a more peaceful European continent. A focus on regional political and economic integration has led to a robust EU literature, including, more recently, scholarly exploration of EU foreign policy. Despite this, few scholars have engaged with the idea of the EU acting as an external peace actor. Bridging the literatures of EU foreign policy and peace studies, this project seeks to answer the following research question: has the development of the EU’s foreign policy framework impacted the ways in which the EU engages in building peace externally? The first stage of the project analyzes the peace orientations found in the EU’s formative treaties. The second stage presents an analysis of the mandates for the EU’s peace operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to determine the types of peace tools each operation employs. The study hypothesizes that the peace tools employed in EU peace operations will correspond to the peace orientations found in the organization’s key treaties. The findings of the study suggest that the peace orientations and peace tools are varied and the link between the two is inconclusive due to methodological difficulties. Finally, the study concludes that significant analytical value exists in research that combines elements of the EU foreign policy literature and peace studies. Building out of this apparent analytical value, the study contends that future research should continue developing new ways to explore the EU and the peace implications of its behavior.


Kille, Kent


International Relations


European Union, Peace Studies, EU Foreign Policy, Democratic Republic of Congo, Peace Tools

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Alexander R. Hopkins