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The theme of my research was looking at whether and how threat perceptions have influenced the evolution of European foreign policy since 9/11. In order to do that, I have taken into account the approaches of the different institutional settings (Council, Commission, national Permanent Representations) to European and international security. Through a discursive analysis and in-depth elite interviews, the research focused on how security discourses in Europe have changed since the terrorist attack of 2001 and then the London and Madrid bombings. The specificity of the European approach was also extrapolated through a comparison with the US security discourses. Two preliminary conclusions: there has been a gradual convergence in threat perceptions among national capitals since 9/11, secondly, unexpectedly, the EU and the US threat assessment have been quite similar, while what diverged were the analysis of the origins of threats and the responses. The selected macro-case study has been European foreign policy towards the Middle East, looking especially at crises-scenarios: while on the paper being very attentive to new kinds of threat, in a modern and not post-modern world region as the Middle East, the Union responds to old threats.
Ruth Hanau Santini was born in Bologna, Italy, 16th December 1977. In October 2001, she graduated full score (110 cum laude) in International and Diplomatic Science at the University of Bologna. Thanks to a University of Bologna Postgraduate Scholarship, she went on for a Master of Arts at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in Middle Eastern Politics. In 2003, she started a PhD programme at the University Federico II in Naples focusing on the Evolution of the Common Foreign and Security Policy since 9/11 by looking at European policymakers' threat perceptions. Thanks to a European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship, she spent the academic year 2004/05 at the European Research Institute in Birmingham, while thanks to the EFSPS Programme and Fellowship she carried out her resarch at the Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin as well as at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.