University of Sussex
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The renovation of Western hegemony: European alternatives in international relations

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posted on 2023-06-08, 21:10 authored by George Byron Moody
European intellectual production on international relations is central to the renovation of Western hegemony in the post-Cold War, ‘post-American’ world. This includes both policy and academic discourses and a focus of this work is an account of the fields in which these discourses are generated that relates them at a deep level. Working within ‘Amsterdam School’ accounts of European integration, I develop the focus on class formation and the internal relation between class and the international for the post-Cold War era. The ‘shift to Europe’ within the previously Anglo-centric Atlantic transnational capitalist class alongside developments in the EU’s ability to cohesively project power means that a developing bi-polar West must be considered within any understanding of attempts to maintain and reformulate Western hegemony. I consider the EU policy field in this context, focusing on the EU think tank field, as it relates to the ‘global power Europe’ discourse; this discourse concerned with harnessing the international legitimacy of the concept of ‘civilian power Europe’ for military interventions. I map the ‘global power Europe’ think tank network, and assess its position within the formation of a hegemonic bloc. Turning to the field of IR I give a novel reading of the principal salient features of the field’s development, as well as allowing an exploration of the field’s limitations and possibilities through tracing the trajectories of European approaches to security, seen as the operationalization of European difference within IR. This methodology, focusing on trajectories rather than paradigms, allows an understanding of the effects of IR theories, as well as the limits and possibilities inherent from their conditions of production, beyond that which can be gleaned from the surface of theoretical debates and configurations. Approached from these two different directions – through policy institutes as a capital-policy nexus, and academic discourse as related to its social conditions of production – and exploring the homologies across them gives a non-reductive grasp on the interaction of the ideational and material in the renovation of Western hegemony.


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  • doctoral

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  • eng


University of Sussex

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