Posts from the ‘Talks’ category

Polity-Construction or How the European Union is (De-)Legitimised: A Discursive Political Sociology Perspective

The paper, presented at the 28th Council for European Studies conference in Lisbon/ISCE on 29 July, 2022, introduces a ‘discursive political sociology perspective’ that combines the theory of meaning-constitution developed in linguistically informed discourse studies with Bour-dieusian political sociology and the political theory of polity-building. It shifts attention from outcome (legitimacy) to process (legitimation) and from identification with existing EU institutions to discourse practices that only establish the means of communicating and cognizing EU politics in its potential and postnational character.

Crisis and crisis narratives in Southwest Europe. Workshop for participants of the regional meeting of Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

In the past decade, societies in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain have gone through mutiple crisis. The recent pandemic further aggravates calamities that were already visible during the financial and Eurozone crisis: social inequalities, dysfunctions in national systems of social security and health provision, political instability and non-sustainable economies. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic markes a shift in policies of crisis management: on both national and European levels, policy-makers have departed from austerity and agreed on stimulus programmes, instead. This workshop explores reasons for this policy shift and the role, crisis narratives play in making that shift more or less possible.

Exercise in complexity and contingency: the example of the MES-Viadrina snap-shot simulation of EU legislation on asylum and migration

This paper, presented by Amelie Kutter at the DVPW Congress 2021, suggests that a neglected, but promising, potential of EU simulations is their function as exercises in complexity and contingency. If designed appropriately, simulation games not only reveal the complexity and contingency of EU politics (cognitive learning), but also the complexity and contingency of thinking about EU politics (cognitive-reflexive learning). Drawing on the example of a snap-shot simulation of the first reading of the EU’s New Pact on Asylum and Migration that was carried out as part of the lecture class ‘Introduction to the politics of the European Union’ at the MA European Studies unit of European University Viadrina, I will show such learning objective can be fostered in simulation game design.

The Discourse Field of EU Multilateral Negotiation: Articulating Field and Discourse Theory

This paper argues that field analyses of EU politics can benefit from an articulation of field theory with discourse theories that are situated in the pragmatic turn in linguistics. By focussing on the discursive constitution of field-specific cultural capital, we can grasp the selectivity of EU-related structured interaction that emerges ad hoc among professional tribes of the EU, notably when these collaborate outside established routines and fields and become entangled in a grand moment of EU institution-building.

Mobilising for alternatives to EU austerity: SYRIZA’s narrative of the European financial and economic crisis

Talk given by Amelie Kutter and Gesine Lenkewitz at the 7th CADAAD conference
The Eurozone crisis brought about a new form of party political opposition in Europe that is deeply critical of the current institutional setting of the EU and the EU’s approach to crisis management while, at the same time, generally supporting the European project. This paper investigates discourse practices employed by such ‘euroalternativist opposition’ (Fitzgibbon 2013), drawing on the example of statements (press releases, speeches and interviews) on EU crisis management addressed to international audiences by SYRIZA between the years 2009-2014.

Analysing crisis discourses: theories and strategies

Talk given by Amelie Kutter at the 7th CADAAD conference
Since the financial crisis emerged in 2007, many projects and publications have been launched that discourse-analyse representations of crisis and crisis management in communications by various groups and organisations. This research has generated insights in recurrent features of crisis discourse, such as blame games, claims for extraordinary authority, or trends of normalisation. Crisis itself, however, is usually taken for granted and rarely subjected to theoretical consideration. The present paper suggests that theories of crisis that borrow from Marxist thought help to gain an understanding of crisis as a catalyst of social change and to conceptually focus analyses of crisis and its discursive construction.

Workshop at Erlangen University, with a talk by Amelie Kutter: Texts and Images of Austerity. A Multimodal Multimedia Analysis

Austerity is a complex phenomenon with far reaching consequences for economic wellbeing, social justice and political systems. The workshop will focus on
discursive constructions of austerity in the British media and explore a large corpus of newspaper articles in a collaborative manner. It takes place at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg on Sept. 25th-29th, 2017.