Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jacques Fomerand

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik


European Union, Crisis, Policy-making


This thesis examines how the EU as an international organization deals with international crisis situations by looking at its functions and imperfections in its decision-making process. Drawing from theoretical organization theory insights, particularly realism and constructivism, as well as empirical findings derived from two case studies, the goal if this study is to identify the dimensions of crises and find an answer to the question which factors influence decisions on crisis management. The Eurozone crisis and the Refugee crisis serve as case studies to investigate the narrative of crises in order to explain process outcomes. In both case studies I established a time frame in which the most important decisions concerning this particular crisis took place. For the Eurozone crisis I look at the period from 2010 to 2011/12 and for the Refugee crisis at 2014-2015. Both situations are analyzed with a view to identify the factors i.e. a. government interests, b. normative positions, c. coalitions, and d. domestic considerations playing a role in determining policy outcomes in crisis settings. As laid out in the theoretical framework, the underlying assumption for the hypothesis is that in decision-making processes, rational choice theory determines a common strategy, which is based on the decisions of the most influential countries. I aim at explaining policy outcomes in specific contentious situations. Although, there have always been issues that challenge the EU decision-making in crisis situations. These challenges have recently reached a new intensity, which required a coherent and increasingly rapid response. This matter has not been sufficiently addressed in current research. This study should accordingly contribute to a better understanding of crisis management by an international organization.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.