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Constructing Europe's Borders: Membership Discourses and European Integration

English title Constructing Europe's Borders: Membership Discourses and European Integration
Applicant Schimmelfennig Frank
Number 172558
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) and Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED)
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.05.2017 - 31.01.2021
Approved amount 552'721.00
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Keywords (5)

borders; membership; discourse; Europe; network analysis

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Was macht «Europa» aus? Wer gehört dazu und wer nicht? Wo endet «Europa»? Im politischen Diskurs werden die Grenzen Europas immer wieder neu vermessen.
Lay summary

In der europäischen Integration findet ein ständiger Diskurs über das Wesen und die Grenzen Europas statt. In nationalen Debatten geht es um die Position des eigenen Staates in der europäischen Integration; in der EU wird diskutiert, ob und unter welchen Bedingungen Staaten Mitglied sein können. Dabei nehmen die politischen Akteure Bezug auf unterschiedliche Kriterien: Geographie, Geschichte und Kultur, politische Werte wie Demokratie und Rechtsstaat sowie die wirtschaftliche und administrative Leistungsfähigkeit. Dieser Diskurs hat sich im vergangenen Jahrzehnt stark verändert. Russland bekämpft die weitere Ausdehnung der europäischen Integration nach Osten und stellt ihr ein eigenes, «eurasisches» Integrationsmodell entgegen. In der EU findet nicht nur eine Debatte über die Wünschbarkeit neuer Mitgliedschaften statt; populistische und euroskeptische Parteien stellen auch das bestehende Integrationsmodell und die Zugehörigkeit ihres Landes zur EU in Frage.

Das Forschungsprojekt untersucht die Europa- und Mitgliedschaftsdiskurse in West- und Osteuropa. Es zeichnet nach, wie sich Positionen und Kriterien zur Mitgliedschaft in «Europa» in der Parteienlandschaft europäischer Staaten im Zeitraum von 2004 bis in die Gegenwart verteilen und verändern – und wie «Diskurskoalitionen» und diskursive Verschiebungen mit der institutionellen Position von Staaten in der europäischen Integration zusammenhängen. Dazu analysieren wir nationale und europäische Parlamentsdebatten mithilfe der Diskursnetzwerkanalyse. Das Projekt will zum besseren Verständnis der geopolitischen und ideologischen Verschiebungen beitragen, die in Europa vor sich gehen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.04.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
From projection to introspection: enlargement discourses since the ‘big bang’ accession
Wunsch Natasha, Olszewska Nicole (2022), From projection to introspection: enlargement discourses since the ‘big bang’ accession, in Journal of European Integration, 1-21.
Politicization and rebordering in EU enlargement: membership discourses in European parliaments
Bélanger Marie-Eve, Schimmelfennig Frank (2021), Politicization and rebordering in EU enlargement: membership discourses in European parliaments, in Journal of European Public Policy, 28(3), 407-426.

Datasets

Constructing Europe’s Borders: Parliamentary Discourses Dataset

Author Bélanger, Marie-Eve
Publication date 03.03.2021
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000472717
Repository ETH Zurich Research Collection


Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ECPR General Conference Talk given at a conference From Cohesion to Contagion? Transnational Populism and the Contestation of EU Enlargement 24.08.2020 University of Wroclaw (online), Poland Bélanger Marie-Eve;
Seminaire du CEE, SciencesPo Talk given at a conference From Projection to Introspection: Explaining EU Membership Discourses after the ‘Big Bang’ Enlargement 02.03.2020 Institut d'études politiques Paris, France Olszewska Nicole;
Swiss Political Science Association Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Domestic and European Discourses about Membership: The Legitimizing Effect of Convergence on EU’s Bordering Strategies 03.02.2020 Lucerne, Switzerland Bélanger Marie-Eve;
ULB Seminar Individual talk Debating Membership: A Comparison of National and Supranational Discourses 20.01.2020 Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium Bélanger Marie-Eve;
WZB Seminar Individual talk Politicization of Discourses: Convergences, Divergences and the Reluctant Europeans 20.11.2019 Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Germany Bélanger Marie-Eve;
Centre Jean Monnet seminar Individual talk Reconstruire les frontières de l’Europe? L’euroscepticisme dans les débats européens sur l’élargissement 20.09.2019 Université de Montréal, Canada Bélanger Marie-Eve;
Council of European Studies Talk given at a conference From fragmentation to polarization: positions about membership in European parliamentary discourse 20.06.2019 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain Bélanger Marie-Eve;
European Union Studies Association Conference Talk given at a conference Reconstructing Europe’s Borders: Patterns of Change in European Membership Discourses 09.05.2019 Denver, United States of America Schimmelfennig Frank;
European Union Studies Association Conference Talk given at a conference Ukraine's Foreign Policy Between the EU and Russia 09.05.2019 Denver, United States of America Mikalayeva Liudmila;
European Union Studies Association Conference Talk given at a conference Seeing the Elephant in the Room: Russian Framing of the Eastern Partnership 09.05.2019 Denver, United States of America Mikalayeva Liudmila;
European Studies Association Talk given at a conference Re-bordering Europe? Change and Partisanship in Parliamentary Enlargement Discourse 09.05.2019 University of Denver, United States of America Bélanger Marie-Eve;
Swiss Political Science Association Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Contesting Membership in European discourses: Politicization and Patterns of Change in Support for Accession in the EU Parliament 14.02.2019 ETH Zurich, Switzerland Bélanger Marie-Eve;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Politicisation and rebordering: How the discourse surrounding EU enlargement has changed in European European Politics and Policy Blog International 2021

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
129731 Differentiated Integration in Europe (D-A-CH/LAV) 01.10.2010 Project funding

Abstract

This research project traces and maps the transformation of the political discourses on Europe’s borders and membership, both in the European Union and in its contested neighborhood. It is designed to show how the positions and arguments of political parties on membership issues have shifted over time in a variety of European countries, and how these changes are linked to membership practices. In doing so, it contributes to a better understanding of the historical changes that the region of Europe is currently undergoing, above all the contestation of “Europe” and the move toward “differentiated (dis)integration” in the region. We seek to establish how membership discourses are structured, how they diffuse among European actors, and how they impact membership decisions. To address these questions, we focus on three aspects: (1) the content of membership discourse (how is membership framed in institutional discourses across Europe?); (2) the aggregation of membership discourses into transnational discourse coalitions (how do political actors align around positions and frames?); and finally (3) the effects of discursive shifts on institutional practices of membership (how are institutional discourses linked to membership decisions?). The project makes three important contributions to the study of European integration. First, it examines the most recent political discourse after the “big bang” enlargement of the mid-2000s and studies the impact of the current changes in the internal and external European context. Second, it broadens the scope of analysis to include Eastern European “contested territories” and Russia, which have not been part of comparative studies of European integration discourses so far. Third, it builds on discourse network analysis, an innovative methodological tool, to analyze actor and party positions on membership issues, the frames they use, and the formation and change of national and transnational discursive coalitions over time, based on an extensive dataset of parliamentary debates in the EU as well a variety of Eastern and Western European EU member and non-member states.
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