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Temporality and Othering in Role Theory: The Czech EU Policy

Vít Beneš
Institute of International Relations
Vít Beneš
Institute of International Relations

The paper provide a clue to understanding the change and continuity of the Czech EU policy by utilizing the conceptual framework of the role theory. The paper has both theoretical and analytical goals. On the theoretical level, the paper tries to enrich the role-theoretical conceptual framework by providing an original four-dimensional model of national role composition based on symbolic interactionism and other theoretical inspirations (Mead’s theory of time, post-structuralist conceptualization of self-other relationship). Thanks to its metatheoretical assumptions and conceptual outfit, the role theory provides a conceptual toolbox that can be utilized in constructivist foreign policy analysis.

On the empirical-analytical level, the utilization of the role theory allows us to understand the change and continuity of the Czech EU policy. The Czech EU policy, fraught with inconsistencies, has always been a rewarding topic for research. On one side, the Czech Republic and her political class vociferously pledge loyalty to European values and culture. On the other side, though, Czech politicians frequently act as stubborn EU critics, questioning the direction of the European integration. The role-theoretical approach employed in this paper allows us to employ a more holistic approach analysing the shared cognitive and discoursive background of the Czech political and intellectual elite as a whole.
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