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Category Archives: Society & Culture

Beyond the Brussels Bubble? National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the European Union

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The Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) recently published a special issue on the role of civil society in European Union policymaking and democratisation. Editors Rosa Sanchez Salgado and Andrey Demidov explain how it constitutes an original account of what is happening in the member states, beyond the world of well-established organisations in Brussels. This special […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

European Studies Needs More Class Analysis

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Inspired by the growing debate on critical approaches to European Studies, Vladimir Bortun adds his own perspective. He argues for class analysis which not only asks how to fix the EU’s specific problems but which takes a more holistic approach. Is the EU in its current form even worth fixing or do we need to […]

‘Brexit’ and Anti-Discrimination Law in Northern Ireland

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Publication resulting from the UACES 2017 PhD and ECR Conference The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is bound to pose unique challenges for Northern Ireland, writes Clare Rice. Drawing on her research on anti-discrimination law in the region, she outlines the potential impact on the legal framework for equality and cross-community relations. The potential impact […]

Critical European Studies Need More Than Foucault

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How can we create spaces for critical discussion about the European Union? Vanessa Bilancetti writes in response to Rachael Dickson Hillyard’s article on alternative approaches to EU Studies. Through her own research on institutional responses to the economic crisis, Vanessa Bilancetti identifies dissenting voices that can enrich an ongoing debate. I have read with interest […]

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