Catherine Gegout, Ph.D.

The University of Nottingham

Country: United Kingdom (England)

About Me:

I have major research interests in international relations theories and European politics, with a focus on European foreign and security policies. I have expertise in European military and economic intervention in Africa, and the role of the International Criminal Court. I am an Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Nottingham, UK. I am currently Pierre Keller Visiting Professor at the Kennedy School, Harvard, USA. I am working on the project The European Union and the Developing World: Protectionism and Exploitation, or Economic and Social Development? which was financed by Leverhulme. My book on Why Europe Intervenes in Africa: Security, Prestige, and the Legacy of Colonisalism was published in 2017 with Hurst, and in 2018 with Oxford University Press. My first book on European Foreign and Security Policy: States, Power, Institutions was published by the University of Toronto Press in  2010. I completed a Post-doctoral Marie-Curie Research Fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and taught as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. I received my PhD in Social and Political Science from the European University Institute in Florence, in 2004, after completing my MA in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges. Please click here for more details.

Research Interests

Foreign Policy

Military Intervention

European Politics

African Politics

International Law & Organization



Books Written:

(2018) Why Europe Intervenes in Africa: Security, Prestige, and the Legacy of Colonialism, Oxford University Press

Why Europe Intervenes in Africa analyses the underlying causes of all European decisions for and against military interventions in conflicts in African states since the late 1980s. It focuses on the main European actors who have deployed troops in Africa: France, the United Kingdom and the European Union. When conflict occurs in Africa, the response of European actors is generally inaction. This can be explained in several ways: the absence of strategic and economic interests, the unwillingness of European leaders to become involved in conflicts in former colonies of other European states, and sometimes the Eurocentric assumption that conflict in Africa is a normal event which does not require intervention. When European actors do decide to intervene, it is primarily for motives of security and prestige, and not primarily for economic or humanitarian reasons. The weight of past relations with Africa can also be a driver for European military intervention, but the impact of that past is changing. This book offers a theory of European intervention based mainly on realist and post-colonial approaches. It refutes the assumptions of liberals and constructivists who posit that states and organisations intervene primarily in order to respect the principle of the 'responsibility to protect'.

(2010) European Foreign and Security Policy: States, Power, Institutions, and American Hegemony, University of Toronto Press

This is the first book to offer a theory explaining European Union decision-making in foreign and security policies, and to provide a detailed and practical analysis of how the Common Foreign and Security Policy really works, before and since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.The European Union's (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) stipulates that all member states must unanimously ratify policy proposals through their representatives on the EU Council. Intergovernmentalism, or the need for equal agreement from all member nations, is used by many political scientists and policy analysts to study how the EU achieves its CFSP. However, in European Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Gegout modifies this theory, arguing instead for analyses based on what she terms 'constrained intergovernmentalism'. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany are the only states which really matter in CFSP issues. They nonetheless have to take into account the hidden veto power of the United States, the constraints imposed by the European Commission, and the precedents set by past decisions. Three in-depth case studies of CFSP decision-making support this argument, as the book examines the EU position on China's human rights record, EU sanctions against Serbia, and EU relations with NATO.