Europeanization : A Poststructuralist Approach

Neuman-Stanivukovic, S., 2014, [S.l.]: [S.n.]. 218 p.

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This dissertation begins from the hypothesis that the direction and extent of Europeanization depends on domestic perception of the European Union and its norms. Accordingly, it was my empirical ambition to study how competing articulations of the EU and its norms constructed debates in EU member and candidate countries. I have pled for greater meta-theoretical awareness in Europeanization scholarship, accompanied by a shift in the ontological reading of underlying questions about the meaning and content of Europeanization.

The result of the established theoretical and empirical considerations was a novel framework for the study of Europeanization embedded in poststructuralism. Poststructuralism rests on a dual ontological foundation. The first premise maintains reality’s discursivity. This suggests that social identities, albeit materially grounded, do not exist outside of language. The second premise rejects the existence of structural totality in view of mutual constitutivness of structure and agency in political articulations. Poststructuralism points the analysis towards the question of how actors’ practices articulate the discourses that constitute social reality. It is therefore fit to theorize Europeanization by linking the underlying discourses on Europe, the perception of EU rules and norms in the domestic debate, and the final policy effects.

The empirical ambition of the thesis was to adopt the poststructuralist approach to Europeanization by examining how competing articulations of the EU and its norms constructed state territoriality in debates of countries/candidates for EU membership. More specifically, the study offered a critical reading of Europeanization in examining the (re)construction of domestic understanding of territoriality vis-à-vis the EU in Czech and Slovak pre-accession debates on territorial reforms. The aim was to define underlying meta-discursive representations of Europe in relation to the state that in turn informed Europeanization. These meta-discourses were then adopted and modified in the study of the reterritorialization discourse in pre-accession Croatia.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Volten, Pieter, Supervisor
  • Wilde, de, Jaap, Supervisor
  • Harst, van der, Jan, Assessment committee
  • Miháliková, S., Assessment committee, External person
  • Rood, J.Q.T., Assessment committee, External person
Award date17-Nov-2014
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7159-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7160-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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