published on Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS) (online first)
In their recently published JCMS article, Gezim Visoka and John Doyle have proposed the concept of ‘neofunctional peace’ as a means to conceptualize the EU's peacemaking practices in the case of the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. This article challenges the ‘neo-functional peace’ on conceptual and empirical grounds. We critically discuss Visoka and Doyle's (2016) reading of neofunctionalism and question parts of their empirical evidence given for the existence of a ‘neo-functional peace’. Going beyond a mere critique of the article by Visoka and Doyle and arguing that the authors may not have fully exploited neofunctionalism's potential for theorizing EU external policy, we stipulate a neofunctionalist logic for explaining integration in the area of EU external policy. Focusing on three spillover dynamics to explain the initiation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue – functional discrepancies, supranational entrepreneurship and external spillover – we illustrate how neofunctionalism can be used to explain the extension of the scope of EU competences and action in the external policy realm.