The social construction of Europe

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.6, No.4, December 1999, p528-544
Publication Date December 1999
ISSN 1350-1763
Content Type

The article introduces constructivist approaches to research on European integration. While stressing middle-range theory, it recognizes that meta-theoretical choices also matter for theorizing and analysing European integration. Tracing developments in the philosophy of science and in international relations theory, social constructivism is introduced as a way of establishing the 'middle ground' in juxtaposition to rationalism and reflectivism - not as a grand theory for the study of European integration. Crucial aspects of the integration process - polity formation through rules and norms, the transformation of identities, the role of ideas and the uses of language - are thereby opened up to systematic inquiry.

Subject Categories ,