The external dimension of the Common Agricultural Policy: shaping rural spaces in Georgia?
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the oldest and most controversial EU policies. Yet, while it has been criticised for the external effects of internal instruments such as subsidies, little is known about whether and how the EU has encouraged the adoption of CAP elements in non-member states. The thesis fills this research gap by investigating how the CAP is externally governed, and how effective its external governance has been. Specifically, it focuses on rural development, a more recent and lesser studied aspect of the CAP. It applies the external governance framework to two rural development instruments in Georgia: Geographical Indications (GIs) which protect agricultural products from certain places against imitation, and the LEADER programme which supports local development projects.
Contrary to the sectoral and institutionalist expectations of the framework, the instruments follow different modes of external governance, which are largely determined by domestic contexts. Despite the difference in modes, and despite the general absence of EU-hierarchy in the process, the external governance of both instruments is effective, and they shape Georgian rural spaces in similar ways. This includes the ‘Europeanisation’ of rural spaces and the further empowerment of existing elite actors. Therefore, the thesis contributes to the EU external governance literature the study of an under-researched sector, and it moves beyond the sectoral level through its engagement with policy instruments. The thesis also extends the framework’s measure of effectiveness by investigating the instruments’ consequences through the concept of rural space. Thereby, it provides heuristics that could benefit future research on EU external action, namely rurality, place, land, and territory. Finally, thesis adds empirical insights to the literature on the CAP and the two instruments, which have seldom been studied in post-Soviet contexts, despite the rich and diverse rural contexts in the region.
The societal relevance of this project derives from its foci on the Common Agricultural Policy, rural spaces and external governance.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is not only one of the oldest and budget-intensive EU policies, it is also one of the most criticised. So far, this criticism has often focused on the effects on non-member states’ economies due to protectionism and market interventions especially of earlier CAP regimes. Yet, instruments focused on rural development and thus rural spaces have been largely neglected in research. Nonetheless, lately both policy makers’ attention and resources have shifted towards this dimension, warranting a closer analysis.
As outlined above, rural areas are facing a variety of challenges ranging from underdevelopment to their indistinguishability as sites of industrial agriculture both resulting in rural depopulation. Hence, the consequences of policy instruments addressing these challenges should be analysed carefully if the vital functions of rural areas and their inhabitants are to be protected.
Finally, developing approaches towards EU external governance are vital for the evaluation of neighbourhood instruments. If academia and policy practice continue to understand the success of externalization as the mere application of EU rules in non-member states, they risk overlooking dysfunctionalities of the instruments in question. Consequently, if instruments do not benefit their adressees, in this case people in rural spaces, this in the best case implies a waste of resources while in the worst case it could fuel anti-European sentiments.
Oct 2016 – Aug 2017: University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Sep 2017 – Aug 2018: Université de Genève, Switzerland
Sep 2018 – Feb 2019: The Transatlantic Foundation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Mar 2019 – Oct 2019: University of Warwick, United Kingdom
- European Union external relations
- European Neighbourhood Policy
- Rural space
- Rural development
- Place-based products, especially wine
- Qualitative methods
Introduction to Social Analytics I at the University of Warwick, Department of Sociology, Term 1 Academic Year 2019/2010: introduction to quantiative research methods in the social sciences (concepts, measurement, survey methods, sampling methods, descriptive statistics, etc.).
Political Research in the 21st Century at the University of Warwick, Department of Politics and International Studies, Academic Year 2019/2020: introduction to research methods in political science (interviews, ethnographic research, research ethics, etc.).
Gelhaus, L. and D. Leuffen. 2020. Case selection. In: J.-F. Morin, C. Olsson, and E.Ö. Atikcan, eds. Research Methods in Social Sciences: A Conceptual Index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 32–37.
Gelhaus, L. 2020. The European Union’s external governance in the area of rural development: understanding the consequences of LEADER. In: A. Weyembergh and M. Telò, eds. The Supranational at Stake? The EU’s External Competences caught between Complexity and Fragmentation. London: Routledge, pp. 145-158.
Balfour, R., L. Gelhaus, and M. Matrakova. 2020. The Changing Landscape of Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership [online]. The German Marshall Fund of the United States. Available from: https://www.gmfus.org/publications/changing-landscape-civil-society-eastern-partnership [Accessed 21 Nov 2020].Gelhaus, L. 2020. Protecting Geographical Indications for Foods and Drinks: Few Tangible Benefits in Georgia [online]. GEM-STONES. Available from: https://gem-stones.eu/impact/publications/protecting-geographical-indications-for-foods-and-drinks-few-tangible-benefits-in-georg [Accessed 21 May 2020].
Gelhaus, L. 2019. The 2019 European Parliament elections – lessons for the Eastern Partnership? [online]. Georgian Institute of Politics. Available from: http://gip.ge/the-2019-european-parliament-elections-lessons-for-the-eastern-partnership/ [Accessed 1 Jul 2019].
Balfour, R. and L. Gelhaus. 2019. How Influential Will Europe’s Populist Parties Really Be in the Next European Parliament? [online]. German Marshall Fund of the United States. Available from: http://www.gmfus.org/blog/2019/05/21/how-influential-will-europes-populist-parties-really-be-next-european-parliament [Accessed 22 Jun 2019].
Balfour, R., L. Basagni, A. Flotho-Liersch, P. Fusaro, L. Gelhaus, L. Groenendaal, D. Hegedüs, H. von Homeyer, K. Kausch, T. Kutschka, M. Matrakova, J. Rempala, and K. Tani. 2019. Divide and Obstruct: Populist Parties and EU Foreign Policy [online]. German Marshall Fund of the United States. Available from: http://www.gmfus.org/publications/divide-and-obstruct-populist-parties-and-eu-foreign-policy [Accessed 22 Jun 2019].
Schiffers, S., D. Hegedüs, S. Minesashvili, T. Bakakuri, L. Tchipashvili, L. Gelhaus, V. Le Grix, and F. Seebass. 2018. Normative Power vs. Democratic Backsliding: European Values in the EU and Georgia [online]. Polis180. Available from: https://polis180.org/blog/2018/11/21/geoeuvalues-policy-paper-normative-power-vs-democratic-backsliding/ [Accessed 21 May 2020].
Networks and working groups
Co-founder of the Critical perspectives on European Neighbourhoods (CENs) working group and research network.
Member of the RESTEP Jean Monnet Network. Tought seminar on “The Politicization of Food”.