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European integration, social democratic Europeanism and the competitiveness discourse : a neo-Poulantzian approach to discursive policy analysis
Miró, Joan (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Date: 2017
Abstract: This article addresses the so-called institutional deficit in poststructuralist discourse theory by articulating a recent development of such a theory, the so-called discursive policy analysis as mainly elaborated by David Howarth and Jason Glynos, with neo-Poulantzian state theory, especially as re-worked by Bob Jessop. It then employs the resulting framework for analysing the internal socio-political logic of the European integration process, and asks why this process has not been challenged by any robust counter-hegemonic alternative despite the regressive consequences that its neo-liberal design has triggered. The argument developed in the article is that the increasing support of European social democracy, once Euro-critical, to the European project played a crucial role in this development. Nevertheless, such a thesis raises the following research question: how the forces leading the European integration process were able to gain and maintain the active support of European social democracy to that process despite the lack of opportunities for social democratic policies at the EU level? To address this question, the article engages with the main policy proposals developed by the European social democratic parties between the mid-1980s and early 2000s, paying special attention to the impacts of these proposals on EU's institutional architecture. The textual analysis of both the social democratic and EU policy discourses reveals that the widespread appeal of a narrative structured around the "empty signifier" of "competitiveness" served to integrate the social democratic identity within the neo-liberal integration project, organizing a range of discursive logics that successfully marginalized critical worries about European integration. Nevertheless, the article ends by hypothesizing that the technocratic mode of European integration that this historical development has instituted, constitutes the main condition of possibility for the current emergence of Eurosceptic populist forces throughout the EU, so that in the medium term the neo-liberaloriented European construction might lead to the destablization of the very foundations of the European order.
Rights: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, la comunicació pública de l'obra i la creació d'obres derivades, fins i tot amb finalitats comercials, sempre i quan es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. Creative Commons
Language: Anglès
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Published in: Palgrave Communications, Vol. 3 (2017) , ISSN 2055-1045

DOI: 10.1057/palcomms.2017.60

16 p, 389.4 KB

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 Record created 2020-04-23, last modified 2020-08-01

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