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As the European Union is t a nation state, it is t generally perceived to have a foreign policy. However, Hazel Smith argues that quite the reverse is true: that an over-emphasis on procedure and structures has disguised the fact that the EU has a clear foreign policy that can be analysed in much the same way as that of the sovereign state. Conventional assessments of the EU focus on the mechanisms, institutions and treaties through which policies are implemented. Smith shows how this can lead to a massive underestimation of the capacities of the EU. Rather than concentrating on how the policy of the EU is made, Smith investigates the action that it has engaged in abroad, and the nature of its diverse global interventions - in relation to the United States and the industrialized North, the various regions of the South and, most recently, its huge involvement in east and central Europe and the entire European continent.
Hazel Smith is a Reader in International Relations at the University of Warwick and Director of the MA in International Relations. She is currently on secondment to the United Nations World Food Programme in DPR Korea (North Korea) as programme adviser (since August 2000). Her previous books include Nicaragua: Self-Determination and Survival (Pluto, 1993), European Union Foreign Policy and Central America (Macmillan, 1995), North Korea in the New World Order (Palgrave, 1996), and Democracy and International Relations (Palgrave, 2000).