Gofas, Andreas (2002) Structure, Agency and Intersubjectivity: Re-capturing the EMU Policy Process in a Constructivist Realist Framework. In: UNSPECIFIED, Florence, Italy.
After a period of neglect, if not hostility, toward ideational explanations, it is now considered a truism that the study of ideas should be incorporated into our analysis. Indeed, contemporary international and European studies scholarship is awash with talk of ‘ideas’. However, and despite the fact that this rise in interest indicates a state of good theoretical health, the debate seems to be evolving around polemics between ‘ontological terrorists’ and ‘methodological opportunists’. This state of affairs I find unsatisfactory, and in this paper I try to cast an alternative by outlining a constructivist realist approach that is combining insights from constructivist and critical realist scholarship. In doing so, I re-capture the EMU policy process as a socio-cultural cycle that has unfolded in three distinct, yet interrelated, phases –social structuring, social interaction and social elaborationwhere at each phase different discourses, with differing degrees of power, were at work.
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