Analysing European Discourses

  • Amandine Crespy
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Discourse analysis is one of the most widespread research approaches across the social sciences, ranging from linguistics to sociology, anthropology and political science. Therefore it comes as no surprise that discourse analysis has also become a central approach in European studies. Discursive approaches to Europe have also diversified as the study of European integration has been mainstreamed into the various sub-fields of political science including international relations, public policy analysis and political sociology. The study of European discourses therefore accounts for a large variety of research questions and epistemological and ontological stances. The peculiarity of discourse analysis is that it can be used both as a mere analysis technique by the most rationalist and positivist scholars, and as a general theory of politics in a constructivist and interpretive perspective. Between these two opposite scholarly poles, there is a vast category of students of EU integration who take a middle-stance and seek to explain how discourse matters with explanatory endeavours, but also some modest conception of social scientists’ ability to establish causality. Fundamentally, studying European discourses means looking at discourse either as a dependent variable — what is said about Europe? How and why? — Or as an independent variable: how do discourses impact national polities and shape the process of integration? Or both. Although not exhaustive, this chapter provides a structured overview for anyone who wishes to make her/his way through the jungle of the various methodological discursive approaches to EU integration.


World Trade Organization Discourse Analysis Critical Discourse Analysis Public Diplomacy Discursive Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Amandine Crespy 2015

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  • Amandine Crespy

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