The ‘Expertisation’ of European Studies.
A critical perspective on discursive institutionalism
Author: Zoltan GRUNHUT
Abstract: The paper puts into perspective the conceptual evolution of European Studies and one of its latest theoretically based approaches, Discursive Institutionalism. It argues that in the field of European Studies expert frameworks aiming for ‘answers’ are overshadowing the intellectual efforts striving for ‘questions’. This tendency undermines the proper identification of problems and it also erodes the effectiveness of proposed policy solutions as these recommendations lack the appropriate conceptual foundations. The paper stresses that this negative trend of ‘expertisation’ is particularly relevant nowadays, when the European Union is undoubtedly struggling with challenges of social disengagement, and that research projects are required to apply approaches that can adequately reveal people’s cognitive-normative understandings and ideationally driven praxes, as well as, most importantly, the generative causes behind EU-sceptical attitudes.
Keywords: European Studies, Discursive Institutionalism, constructivism, European Union, social disengagement
Pages: 252-272 | Full text (PDF)