Euan Carss

Thesis title:

Trust in International Relations – a meaningful driver of EU external relations with MENA countries in security policy domains?


The concept of ‘trust’ has recently gained traction among scholars interested in cooperative relations between states, though studies remain in their relative infancy in terms of adequate theorising and conceptualisation (Hoffman, 2006; Brugger, 2015).It is the premise of Euan’s proposed research – by way of further developing the concept of ‘trust’ within an International Relations (IR) perspective – that such an approach would not only serve to put ‘the IR back into EU studies’ theoretically, but also offer a new avenue for exploring questions of European Union (EU)/Middle East and North Africa (MENA) security cooperation empirically. The proposed research question for this project is thus: in what way and to what extent does ‘trust’ affect security relations between the EU and MENA countries?Euan plans to utilise a sequential exploratory approach; an initial phase of qualitative research in order to explore the various characteristics of trust in EU/MENA relations and beyond, followed by a second quantitative collection of data to better understand the dynamics trust between the EU and MENA countries. Specifically, he will look at three MENA countries and three security policy domains within each.

First supervisor:

Anand Menon


12 – Strategic, Regional, & Security Studies