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.
At this panel, Amelie Kutter (IFES / Euroean University Viadrina) will present her book and Vivien Schmidt (Boston University) and Nicolas Hubé (University of Lorraine), who both worked and published extensively on the EU’s legitmation, will then review it, facilitated by Timm Beichelt (IFES / European University Viadrina).
This book investigates how political authority and legitimacy is constructed in the postnational setting of the European Union. Drawing on the example of the EU constitutional debate, and the use of ‘EU constitutional speak’ in Polish and French broadsheets, more particularly, the book shows how claims for legitimacy transform while being transposed from the discourse field of multilateral negotiation to that of national media.
After the end of the Cold-War, the EU started advancing its Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP), making them part of reform that eventually led to the Lisbon Treaty. The article argues that this endeavour was above all a project of polity-construction: it endowed European integration with new purpose, imagining the EU as a polity that legitimately asserted itself globally as a civilising power.
The Eurozone crisis and its management called into question the EU’s decision-making capacity and cast doubt on its responsiveness and accountability towards various groups’ and members’ demands. It also ruined the prospects for catch-up that poorer members of the European Union linked to membership and severely damaged the EU’s rationale of cohesion. The project investigates discursive struggles over the adequate management of the Eurozone crisis with regard to how they address the project of developmental catch-up and, thereby, redefine the centre and periphery. It is directed by Amelie Kutter at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder).
Kutter, A. (2013) Totgesagte leben länger: die Fortschreibung ökonomischer Ordnung in der deutschen Finanzpresse [Their death was prematurely reported: imaginations of economic formation in the financial…
The end of the Cold War brought about a strategic shift in the field of foreign, security and defence policies in Europe. In particular, events like wars, humanitarian catastrophes or terrorist attacks provoked public debates about the future role of the European Union in world politics both in the EU member and the candidate states. The project investigates whether these debates led to the construction of a common European identity. Amelie Kutter is co-investigator on that project, which is directed by Cathleen Kantner and Thomas Risse at Free University Berlin.