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The political sciences of European integration: disciplinary history and EU studies

Rosamond, Ben. (2007) The political sciences of European integration: disciplinary history and EU studies. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. This chapter does not pretend to offer a single definitive account of the field of EU politics, but it does investigate the various formal and informal accounts that exist in terms of the above observations. It begins with two short preparatory discussions. The first identifies six issues that intercept any attempt to write disciplinary history in this area, while the second supplies a rough ‘anatomy’ of the field of EU studies/EU politics in an effort to adjudicate some fundamental issues surrounding the substance of this area of study. In so doing, it perhaps justifies this chapter’s focus on what appears to be an Anglophone academic mainstream. It then moves to describing and offering critical engagement with standard accounts of the field with a view to showing how, overwhelmingly, extant stories about the evolution of EU studies are bound up with particular claims about the organisation of knowledge in the present. Indeed the argument here suggests that disciplinary history is used to adjudicate disputes about the proper scope and substance of the study of EU politics, which in turn connect to some quite fundamental struggles for the soul of political science. Thus the chapter is also attentive to sociology of knowledge questions. These remind us that our knowledge about the world is produced amidst broad scientific and more specific disciplinary structures, norms, practices and institutions – what Jørgensen (2000) neatly calls the ‘cultural-institutional context’ of academic work. It follows that the evolution of a field is (at the very least) partly a function of developments within the field. These in turn might reflect much broader path dependent pathologies, which take us back to the intellectual and socio-political conditions of disciplinary foundation (Mancias, 1987). This ‘internalist’ take on disciplinary history might not necessarily provide a full explanation of why scholars of EU politics address particular puzzles at particular moment, but it does offer a framework for understanding why particular theories and approaches dominate at particular times (Schmidt, 1998; Wæver, 2003). At the same time, many would prefer to argue for an ‘externalist’ understanding of disciplinary evolution, where the main academic innovations are largely construed as responses to the changing anatomy of the field’s primary object of study (the EU/the politics of European integration).

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > researching and writing the EU (see also integration theory in this section)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 41
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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