Call for papers/panels for the section
“Exploring European Diplomatic Practices in Times of Crisis and Transition”
Supported by SGEU
8th ECPR General Conference, Glasgow, 3-6, September 2014.
REMINDER: Deadline 15 February 2014
Please submit here
Section and potential panels description:
This section aims to bring together scholars focusing on diplomacy and foreign policy practices in the European foreign policy system, within the context of International Relation and European Studies and Political Sciences. While European foreign policy continues to attract the attention of many, diplomacy has been undergoing a revival. This panel seeks to bring the two together in order to provide a fuller picture of the European diplomatic practices, while benefiting from the current theoretical interest in practices.
An increasing number of scholars in the field are now focusing on how practitioners’ practical dispositions and ways-of-doing-things shape and are shaped by international politics. While practice-inspired approaches in IR might draw upon different social theories, they have highlighted the relevance of understanding what practitioners actually do when they interact. Conceptually, practice is thus about performance, setting the standards of performance and the relationship between different types of practice. A focus on practices also addresses power and its effect / dependence on practices, as well as the analysis of how practices relate to other analytical categories, such as e.g. discourses, norms and mechanisms of transformation (such as socialization and persuasion). Contributions to this section would locate European diplomatic practices in the broader fields of current theoretical developments, while analysing them from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective.
European diplomatic practices in recent and current times are especially interesting. The overarching economic and political crisis in Europe has impacted on the EU’s role in international politics and possibly exacerbated the tensions between novel and ingrained ways of performing diplomacy. Moreover, the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty have affected practices across a number of domains. The creation of a new diplomatic body, the European External Action Service (EEAS) initiated a number of new practices that need exploring, in Brussels, in member states’ capitals and outside the EU. This development was also expected to lead to deep changes in member states’ national diplomatic practices, but the extent to which this has happened is also an issue for further investigation. Moreover, foreign policy developments in Brussels go beyond the EEAS, and include e.g. counter-terrorism, immigration and environmental issues, the external dimension of which provides excellent examples of new and persistent practices.
This section seeks to explore questions related to the development of and changes to European diplomatic practices. For example, the section aims to attract proposals that could be grouped under the following themes / panels, some of which more theoretically driven and some more empirically focused:
– Brussels-based institutional practices: What kind of practices characterise the relations between member states, and between member states and EU institutions / actors? What is the state of the art of the EEAS and what kind of practices has it engendered in Brussels? What practices typify the relations between EU institutions / actors, both pre- and post- Lisbon Treaty?
– Policy-specific practices: What practices prevail in specific policy domains, such as e.g. security, counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, immigration, environment? Is there any scope for generalising across sectors?
– Practices in national diplomatic services: What are current and recent transformations of national diplomatic services? What has been the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on their re-organisation, if any? What has been the impact of the economic crisis? As European cooperation involves more and more ‘technical’ ministries, what has been the reaction of national ministries of Foreign Affairs?
– European diplomatic practices with non-EU member states: What are the issues to be highlighted in relations with e.g. strategic partners, developing countries, European non-EU countries?
– Practices in non-EU member states: As the Lisbon Treaty has strengthened the role of EU Delegations, what kinds of practices have emerged? What relationship exists between member states and EU Delegations in non-EU countries? What are the old and new European diplomatic practices in international organizations?
– Communities of practices, networks and entrepreneurs: How best can we characterise the interactions that emerge from existing practices? To what extent do networks and communities of practice help re-shape or serve to reify boundaries between policy sectors as well as EU members and non-members?
– Practices, discourses, norms and ideas: What discursive practices shape norms and ideas about EU foreign policy? How do socialization, learning, and persuasion relate to diplomatic practice in different institutional venues (EU, member states)?
– Practices across time: What findings does a comparative perspective across time deliver? Have European diplomatic practices changed since e.g. the end of the Cold war?
– Practices of accountability: How are issues of legitimacy, accountability and democracies practiced? What kind of evidence and considerations are brought up when looking at practices from a post-colonial perspective?
This section welcomes contributions from young and senior scholars engaging with practice-inspired approaches to European politics and it is open to participants from various fields of social science (Political Science, International Relations, European Studies, but also Sociology, Anthropology, International History, Management).