ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

The Epistemological Violence of referencing “EUrope” in order to set up (non)EUropean (b)Orders Concerning Violence against women

Andra-Mirona Dragotesc
Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara
Andra-Mirona Dragotesc
Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara

Abstract

What do I talk about when I talk about Europe is the epistemological violence of using, misusing and abusing references to EUrope in order to problematize issues such as violence against women, thus, the structural and cultural violence of (re)presenting combating violence against women in reference to EUrope. I am working on the usage of the "EU- Europe" (miss)understanding in public discourses in Romania concerning violence against women. My research is focused on how the use, misuse and abuse of EU-Europe references in addressing and (re)presenting domestic violence against women in the Romanian public discourse engenders the construction of a EUropean and a non-EUropean identity, with both of them being reified and differentiated through the presence or the absence of policy for combating domestic violence against women. Thus, beginning from presentations of the first law on domestic violence in Romania was presented (as well as legitimized!) as "the most European law our Parliament voted" in 2003, I follow the ways in which usage of EU references in Romanian public discourses constructs meanings of the the EUropean identity as one combating violence against women, positioning it against the non-EUropean ways of (non)addressing domestic violence against women. In this context, I argue that political discourse fills with meaning the empty signifier of "EUrope" and EUropeanization becomes the intersection of policy making with identity construction. In this sense, I am looking at how the problem of domestic violence against women is (re)presented to be- altering Carol Bacchi's "WPR- What’s the Problem Represented to be?"- extensively a matter of inclusion or exclusion within the (b)orders of EUrope(anness). It is within this context that I focus on how meaning production of EUrope via discourse can be used to promote potential feminist goals, but eventually, due to a decoupling between policy-making before and after accession, a policy of window dressing more than anything else, can end up undermining these very feminist struggles. I do so from a perspective on European Studies combining discursive institutionalism, feminist critical theory and neo-orientalism. Moreover, I look at how the politics of europeanizing combating domestic violence against women does not combat the bordering of EUrope, even in Romania- marginalized by means of almost panopticist mechanisms of self-surveillance such as Eurobarometers and Commission Reports-, creating a sort of discursive EU monopoly on combating domestic violence sometimes. Thus, one can argue that a way of talking about Europe is talking about domestic violence against women in reference to the EU-Europe. Also, the importance of what is (miss)understood, constructed, produced as EUrope(an) due to presentations and representations of issues referenced through EU-Europe in public discourse is an aspect of knowledge production concerning both the European Union and Europe which needs to be addressed and explored in order to add up to a historical and sociological perspective on the Europe of the European Union.