Field of Dreams: The Discursive Construction of EU Studies, Intellectual Dissidence and the Practice of ‘Normal Science’
18 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015
Date Written: January 2016
This article explores how and why established understandings of an academic field's history matter. In particular, it shows in the case of EU studies that a settled narrative of the pivotal theoretical debate between neo‐functionalism and intergovernmentalism has been a vital rhetorical tool in the constitution of the field since the 1990s. Drawing on citation data and contemporaneous accounts of the theoretical architecture of the field from the 1970s and 1980s, the article shows that the idea of an intergovernmentalist school of theory is a retrospective construction developed in the 1980s and 1990s that has been read back into the past of the field of integration studies. The further effects of this settled intersubjective understanding of EU studies past include contributions to the stereotyping and simplification of neo‐functionalism, the writing out of the field's key archive of other mainstream theoretical work and the continued silencing of non‐mainstream or ‘dissident’ theoretical voices.
Keywords: EU studies, intergovernmentalism, neofunctionalism, disciplinary history, dissidence
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