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Title: How does the European Commission create a European civil society with words? A discourse theoretical inquiry
Author: Kutay, Acar
Series/Date: Journal of Common Market Studies Vol.55, No.5, September 2017, p1094–1109
Source Origin: Commercial publisher/Media
Source Type: Blog/Journal/Series
ISSN: 0021-9886
Notes: Abstract:

The intent of this article is to make sense of European civil society from the point of view of post-structural discourse theory. This theory suggests examining meaning-making processes concerning European civil society by adopting a post-foundational philosophy and an interpretive approach to studying social phenomena. Post-foundational philosophy is anti-essentialist, combines discursive and non-discursive elements, and adopts a constructionist approach to language that recognizes agency as situated.

Discourse theorists conduct empirical research by strictly following these philosophical presumptions. So conceived, discourse theory suggests that the conceptual link between NGOs and European civil society does not have any foundational ground or naturalistic explanation. Such a link is not a pre-given fact, and can be best understood as linguistically constructed and articulated; that is, the EU institutions, the European Commission in particular, have defined and constituted NGOs as civil society subjects that would stand for and make Europe's imagined civil society present.
Source URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12526
Homepage URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-5965
Geographic Indicators:  European Union
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