Laura Chappell

Dr Laura Chappell

Senior Lecturer in European Politics


University roles and responsibilities

  • Undergraduate Programme Director


    Research interests

    My teaching

    My publications


    LC Chappell, J Mawdsley, P Petrov (2016)Uncovering EU strategy in its security policy: a (in)coherent actor?, In: The EU, Strategy and Security Policy Routledge
    Roberta Guerrina, Laura Chappell, Katharine Wright (2018)Transforming CSDP? Feminist triangles and gender regimes, In: Journal of Common Market Studies56(5)pp. 1036-1052 Wiley
    Despite equality being considered one of the key normative foundations of the EU, gender has not yet been mainstreamed within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This article investigates the impact of institutional structures on the inclusion of a gender dimension in this policy area. The article adopts Woodward’s (2003) model of feminist triangles to unpack the role of actors and processes; specifically, highlighting key innovations and missed opportunities to integrate gender into CSDP. Focusing in particular on femocrats, the article argues that for gender mainstreaming to take place, the office of the Gender Advisor needs to bridge the division between the military and civilian dimension of CSDP. It concludes that CSDP remains largely gender blind in spite of the EU’s adoption of an action plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
    In Germany, Poland and the Common Security and Defence Policy Laura Chappell offers a comprehensive comparative analysis of an old and a new EU Member State's perceptions of and contributions to EU security and defence at the beginning of the 21st Century. Utilising a distinct theoretical framework intertwining strategic culture and role theory, this book focuses on change and continuity in Poland and Germany's defence policies. It does this by connecting the political and the military through two case studies on the EU Battlegroup Concept and the European Security Strategy. By analysing these along with each country's general approach to security and defence it is possible to assess in which areas convergence has occurred, where divergences remain and the impact of this on the Common Security and Defence Policy including whether a European strategic culture is developing. This has important implications for the effectiveness and efficiency of the EU as an international security actor
    LC Chappell, J Mawdsley, R Whitman (2016)The National Priorities of Germany, France and the UK. Enabling or Constraining a Joined-Up EU Strategy?, In: The EU, Strategy and Security Policy Routledge
    LC Chappell (2009)Deploying the EU Battlegroups: Mission Impossible?,, In: CFSP Forum7(6)pp. 7-12
    LC Chappell (2009)Strategic Posture Review: Poland WPR Reports
    R Guerrina, L Chappell (2013)Women on the Front Line and Other Equality Matters e-International Relations
    LC Chappell (2016)Strategy in European Security and Defence policy – does it matter?, In: The EU, Strategy and Security Policy Routledge
    LC Chappell, P Petrov (2014)The European Union's crisis management operations: Strategic culture in action?, In: European Integration Online Papers18(2)pp. 1-24
    How useful is the concept of strategic culture for understanding when, where and how the European Union uses force? This paper will assess the extent to which agreement among the European Union Member States to conduct Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations is founded on a top-down approach based on a common strategic culture or alternatively on a bottom-up approach. In the latter case, a decision to deploy troops is based on specific Member States’ interests and capabilities. Four military operations will be analysed: Operation EUFOR Althea, EUFOR RD Congo, EUFOR TChad/RCA and Operation Atalanta. Emphasis is placed on whether there has been any form of decision-making based on shared beliefs, attitudes and norms regarding the use of force. The aim is to highlight whether there has been increasing convergence behind the reasoning for the deployment of European Union operations which indicates the extent to which the organisation possesses a European strategic culture.
    Laura Chappell, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Petar Petrov (2019)A more capable EU? Assessing the role of the EU’s institutions in defence capability development, In: Journal of European Integrationpp. 1-18
    Are EU institutions able to perform their preferred role within defence capability development? Highlighting increased demands for a stronger EU role in security, we explore how EU institutions have promoted their role within CSDP. Using role theory, we investigate the European Commission, the EDA, the EEAS and the European Parliament’s ability to promote pooled and shared defence resources in European capability development. We argue that this depends on the combination of the alignment of their original role treaty/design-based mandate with the role they perceive having; the role expectations of the big three Member States (Germany, France, UK); and the changing international environment, which may alter both role perceptions and role expectations. We find that the Commission and the EEAS have managed on occasion to promote pooled and shared defence resources overcoming Member State objections, showing autonomy in creating increased defence capability independently of MS leading to more integration within CSDP.
    Laura Chappell, Roberta Guerrina (2019)Understanding the Gender Regime in the European External Action Service, In: Cooperation and Conflictpp. 1-20 SAGE Publications
    Laura Chappell (2017)Poland and the Common Security and Defense Policy: Potential Leader?, In: Reviewing European Union Accession. Unexpected Results, Spillover Effects, and Externalities67pp. 207-224 Brill Nijhoff
    L Chappell (2009)Differing member state approaches to the development of the EU Battlegroup Concept: implications for CSDP, In: European Security18(4)pp. 417-439 Routledge, Taylor & Francis
    This article will analyse the challenges facing CSDP through an evaluation of the impact that differing member state strategic cultures have on the EU Battlegroup Concept,, highlighted through the examples of Germany and Poland. The concept was initiated to give the EU an increased rapid reaction capacity. However, as emphasised through the cases of Germany and Poland, divergences in EU member states’ strategic cultures remain, including when, where and how force is used. When this is combined with the cost of plugging military capabilities’ gaps, the political willingness to deploy a Battlegroup can be affected. Whilst the article highlights that the role that member states want to play within CSDP as well as international expectations can override constraining factors, the Battlegroups rely on a rotation system. As some member states are more willing to deploy the Battlegroups than others, the concept risks becoming a declaratory policy thus undermining CSDP.
    N Alecu de Flers, L Chappell, P Müller (2011)The EU's Foreign and Security Policy: Incremental Upgrading of Common Interests and the Effects of Institutionalised Cooperation, In: The EU's Decision Traps: Comparing Policiespp. 162-180 Oxford University Press
    L Chappell (2010)Poland in Transition: Implications for a European Security and Defence Policy, In: Contemporary Security Policy31(2)pp. 225-248 Routledge, Taylor & Francis
    This thesis explores the tensions between the underpinnings of Normative Power Europe (NPE) and the use of the military as a way of norm diffusion, with a focus on Somalia. It is specifically concerned with the impact of the European External Action Service (EEAS), as part of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), on the evolution of the EU as a ‘normative power’. By focusing on this particular interrelation of normative and military power, this project will illustrate the importance of actorness as a constructive element of the EU’s normative identity in its external action. This thesis’ contribution stems from critiques of NPE, particularly with reference to its discursive nature. Simultaneously, it emphasises symbolic manifestation as key in addressing the tension between “military” and “normative” power. Whilst it contributes to the literature on CSDP, this thesis is concerned with demonstrating the catalytic role of the establishment of the EEAS in the evolution of the EU’s normative identity. Through the exploration of the EU’s military operations in Somalia - EUTM and EUNAVFOR - this research establishes the compatibility between normative power and military means. This is achieved through content analysis and subsequent critical frame analysis of official EU documentation. The critical frames of ‘comprehensive approach’, ‘effective multilateralism’ and ‘partnership-ownership’ are applied to the strategic documentation, sub-strategies and EU documents relating to Somalia and the Horn of Africa in order to demonstrate the normative elements of the EU’s external action as well as how they have altered since the establishment of the EEAS. By examining the consistent operationalisation of the EU’s demonstrated intents and subsequent impact in Somalia, this thesis ultimately provides an evaluation of the Union’s overall power in normative terms. Most importantly, it makes the case for NPE’s pertinence in the study of external action.
    Zero Problems with Neighbours (ZPN) is a policy adopted by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that aims to minimise disputes with the country’s neighbour’s in the Balkans, Caucasia and the Middle East, and thereby expand Turkey’s regional influence. Although the policy initially achieved remarkable results in supporting Turkey’s ambitious foreign policy agenda, since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011 it has been called into question due to Turkey’s decision to support the demands of the Syrian people for democracy. The combination of the war in Syria, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) have increased the role of non-state actors in the Middle East politics. Of particular concern for Turkey, on account of its long-standing concerns regarding Kurdish nationalism, is the significant role played by Iraqi and Syrian Kurds in regional security affairs. This thesis aims to examine the regional impacts of the ZPN policy in respect to Iraqi Kurdistan. This has been achieved through an analysis of the impact on the ZPN policy of the following non-state actors between 2011 and 2016: The Syrian Kurdish group represented by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), ISIS, and the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK). This research seeks to make an original contribution Turkish foreign policy, Kurdish politics, policy studies and non-state actors. This research has adopted a case study approach entailing semi-structured interviews with Kurdish elites from both Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria, supplemented by analysis of speeches and official documents. This data is analysed in order to construct an understanding of the influence of these non-state actors on foreign policy making in the Middle East by revealing how they have forced Ankara to redraw its ZPN policy with respect to Syria, and the implications of this in the future with respect to Iraqi Kurdistan.
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is the preeminent international security institution spanning Europe and North America. This means that NATO’s engagement with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) is of particular salience to examine. NATO’s role as a ‘teaching machine’ sharing lessons on gender and UNSCR 1325, means the organisation represents a key site for the transfer of learning on the value of the WPS agenda. Despite this, and the wide range of literature examining the implementation of UNSCR 1325, NATO’s implementation of the women, peace and security agenda remains under examined. This thesis contributes a feminist approach to theorising international security institutions, drawing upon an institutional approach to understand how NATO’s gendered organisational structure has contributed to shaping a particular understanding of UNSCR 1325. Notably, the WPS agenda has mapped onto NATO’s long existing concern with the status of women in the military, and UNSCR 1325 has come to be supported, in the military structure, by the existing gender machinery established to support this agenda. The thesis identifies the key actors and drivers involved in NATO’s adoption and implementation of UNSCR 1325. In particular, the central role of partner states has contributed to the framing of the WPS agenda as external to the Alliance, or within a silo, both practically and symbolically. This supports the argument that member and partner states have come to learn the value of UNSCR 1325 as a diplomatic tool and a means of providing influence incommensurate with status. It also challenges notions that NATO is an organisation whose agenda is dictated (solely) by the US. In addition to identifying femocrats operating within NATO, the thesis draws attention to the importance of leadership for driving the agenda, most significantly through the appointment of the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security in 2012. The thesis exposes the ‘added value’ of UNSCR 1325 not only for member states, but for NATO. This finds the Resolution valued as a tool to increase operational effectiveness, in part because its adoption was shaped by NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan. NATO’s implementation of UNSCR 1325 has also been utilised by as a public diplomacy tool by NATO, for example, utilising stories of Afghan military women as a ‘good news story’ about NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan.