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ECPR General Conference 2020, University of Innsbruck

What We Talk About When We Talk About Europe – Methodologies of European Studies

Workshop Number
33
Workshop Director
Monica Clua-Losada
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Workshop Co-Director
Laura Horn
University of Roskilde

Abstract
Due to the increasingly complex character of overlapping institutional, legal, economic and social spheres, and the interdisciplinary and evolving field of perspectives, European Studies constitutes a particularly challenging, and at the same time exciting terrain for reflecting upon the conduct of inquiry in social sciences.
To systematically explore these analytical strategies, and to foster an awareness of the implications of these methodologies within European Studies and beyond is an essential dimension of conducting research on EU affairs. And yet more often than not the question of underlying methodology in EU Studies is being conflated with a certain fetishism of methods. Within the (sub)disciplinary confines of the EU Studies sphere, methods are too often discussed with exclusive regard to their explanatory power, validity or parsimony, without critical reflection of how specific analytical strategies are intimately linked with particular views of social reality. It is these fundamental methodological choices underwriting EU Studies research that constitute the focus of this workshop.
This workshop seeks to contribute to this debate by providing a platform for discussing questions of research design and concomitant research strategies. Rather than focusing on epistemological concerns, which is often the case in the discussion about positivist and interpretive approaches (generally reproduced in the spurious distinction between 'quantitative' and 'qualitative' research), the primary focus will be on the ontological grounds of 'what we talk about when we talk about Europe'. The workshop aims to cut across disciplinary boundaries to develop analytical strategies that can capture the dynamic social reality of European Union. Instead of a reconciliation of different methodologies, the objective here is to survey and critically reflect on the analytical principles underlying current research in EU Studies at distinct locations of the methodological spectrum.

Paper List


Title Details
"Another Europe is possible"? On the meaning of Europe in Social Struggle over Austerity and Authoritarian Governance View Paper Details
"The EU as an Ideational Power": The Case of the Development of Domestic Policies in Chilean and Mexican Higher Education (HE) View Paper Details
“Citizens talking about Europe”: Why did we Ask, What did we Learn? View Paper Details
A "Bottom-Up" Europeanisation Research Design: An Experience with Starting at the Bottom and crossing the Rationalist/Constructivist Divide View Paper Details
Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, and Text Analysis in EU Integration Studies View Paper Details
The Epistemological Violence of referencing “EUrope” in order to set up (non)EUropean (b)Orders Concerning Violence against women View Paper Details
Topoi and European Studies: Medievalism and the Commission’s Communication Strategy (2004-2009) View Paper Details
What does Europe mean in the Periphery: The case of Turkey View Paper Details
Whose knowledge? Whose policy? The European Commission as an Organiser of Policy Knowledge View Paper Details
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