By Karen Kelly

Alexandra Chronopoulos

Alexandra Chronopoulos

MA student Alexandra Chronopoulos of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) was one of two FPA students who received the Schuman Challenge essay prize, organized by the European Union Delegation to Canada. She won a one-week study trip to Brussels, Belgium next spring (Covid permitting) where she will be able to witness the internal workings of the EU Parliament and get to meet with various policymakers and Eurocrats.

The essay contest asked students to answer the question: “The EU – a global power? If not, what does it need to become one?”

In response, Chronopoulos wrote an essay entitled, “Where Europe Leads, the World Follows: Positioning the European Union as a Global Superpower.”

How did you answer the essay question?

My paper argued that the European Union (EU) should not only be considered a global power, but rather a superpower and heir apparent to the Pax Americana in the increasingly pluralistic liberal international order by examining both traditional “hard” power, delineated by military strength and spending, as well as “soft” power through the indicators of economics, regulation, policy coordination, culture, institutions, and norms.

Ultimately, as the world becomes increasingly multipolar, the idea that the global order must be dominated by a single hegemon (i.e. the United States) is an anachronism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite the problems facing the EU, not least of which are the existential threat of populism and moving on from Brexit, the bloc has proven itself as a stable and predictable power able to evolve and adapt in a world wrought with political atrophy and instability, able to navigate the treacherous waters of a world in transition, and defend and uphold the liberal world order.

What does this prize mean to you?

Being chosen as one of the winners was extremely exciting and humbling. As a proud European myself and graduate student at NPSIA, where I am specializing in the study of international organizations and global policy, studying EU politics and relations is of great personal and academic interest to me.

What are your plans for the future?

Currently I am on track to graduate by Spring 2023. In addition to EU politics and relations, my research interests are largely related to outer space policy and examining the clean-up of space debris in low-Earth orbit as a global public good, so I hope to continue to pursue research on these topics and eventually work full-time in this realm. I also recently became a dual Canadian-EU citizen by finally getting my Greek citizenship.

Read about another Shuman Challenge winner, Political Science student James Prowse.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 in ,
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