In the past few years decision‐making processes and the normative underpinnings of EU external relations have become subject to intense debate in the European institutions, member states and the wider public. Previous research suggests that there is variation in the extent to which individual domains of EU external relations are politicized and contested. This special issue aims to theorize further and investigate empirically this, using the example of European development policy and its relations with other external policies. It brings together a broad variety of research covering different arenas, objects and levels of politicization as well as different policy nexuses. The ten contributions to the special issue also combine various theoretical perspectives that include rationalist and constructivist approaches and different methods including statistical and discourse analyses. Individual articles both focus on politicization processes within the EU and member states as well as at the level of partner countries in Europe and Africa. Building on these different approaches and foci, they draw insights that help us to theorize the two mechanisms that may drive politicization dynamics in European development policies and that are at the core of this special issue – horizontal politicization and outside‐in politicization.

Hackenesch, Christine / Julian Bergmann / Jan Orbie (eds.) (2021): The politicisation of European development policies, in: Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS) 59(1), special issue,