Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Society & Culture

The EU as a Normative Power: the Issue of Eurocentric Approaches to EU Action Analysis

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When viewed as a normative power, is the European Union (EU) an exceptional actor? Aiste Pagirenaite dissects the Economic Partnership Agreements negotiated between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and argues that the EU’s norm promotion tools also serve its strategic interests. Two of the most prominent accounts explaining the […]

The Perception of European Identity in Scotland

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Publication resulting from the UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 Perceptions of vulnerability within small states can lead to stronger national identity, but also to affiliations with bigger organisation, such as the EU, which grant external shelter. Using Scotland as an example, Alastair Mackie asks whether these dynamics can impact European identity among citizens of small states. […]

Less Chatter, More Science: Approaching the Personalities of the High Representatives

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Publication resulting from the UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 The personalities of the High Representative (of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security within the European Union [EU]) have fascinated journalists and academics since the position was created. Michaela Korsch argues we should move pass the gossip and introduce rigour and method in our understanding of […]

How the EU Mitigates a Fundamental Democratic Deficit of European Nation-States

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In this piece, Samuel D. Schmid, Andrea C. Blättler, and Joachim Blatter summarise the key findings from their winning article of the JCMS 2017 Best Article Prize: ‘Democratic Deficits in Europe: The Overlooked Exclusiveness of Nation‐States and the Positive Role of the European Union’ (Vol 55, Issue 3), available here. The European Union, many believe, has a democratic deficit. […]

UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 | KU Leuven

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UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 KU Leuven, belgium On 12-13 July 2018, forty postgraduate and early career researchers across a range of disciplines gathered at KU Leuven to present and receive feedback on their work on contemporary Europe and the European Union. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘An Actor on Multiple Stages: the […]

New article on Vico and Democracy

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  New article forthcoming (in 2018) in History of Humanities and posted to SSRN: Democracy and the Vernacular Imagination in Vico’s Plebian Philology Abstract: This essay examines Giambattista Vico’s philology as a contribution to democratic legitimacy. I outline three steps in Vico’s account of the historical and political development of philological knowledge. First, his merger of […]

The Berlin Wall put in context

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The Berlin Wall, constructed in 1961 to separate East and West Berlin during the Cold War, is a cause and consequence of a plethora of historical events and processes. It is also a symbol for artificial separation of peoples and ideas behind artificially created borders. In this respect it can serve as a perfect proxy, which allows […]

From 2005’s ‘Permissive Consensus’ to TTIP’s ‘Empowering Dissensus’: The EU as a Playing Field for Spanish Civil Society

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At a time when the EU is undergoing a number of crises, some seen as existential and provoking an upsurge in theorising on the disintegration of the EU, Luis Bouza and Alvaro Oleart offer intriguing reasons for suggesting there is room for more optimism. In a succinct summary of their larger article, recently published in JCER, […]

The Strategic Use of Government-Sponsored Referendums in Contemporary Europe

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The recent wave of government-sponsored referendums in Europe should be read in light of the upsurge of populist movements, argues Cecilia Sottilotta. Based on her recent article in JCER, she analyses the way in which the governments of Greece, Britain, Hungary and Italy strategically used referendums between 2015-2016, and debunks the political risk calculations.  Greece in […]

The Key to Public Support for the EU is Efficacy

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By Caroline McEvoy (University College Dublin) What influences public support for or trust of the European Union (EU)? Political scholars continue to grapple with this precise question, which is especially relevant for our contemporary politics. The change in public attitudes towards the EU over the past two decades is striking. In 2013 only 31 per cent […]

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