The EU’s resilience in security and defence: a critical geopolitical perspective

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We propose to study the EU’s securitization of the European way of life through discourse from a Critical Geopolitical perspective. CG seeks to deconstruct the spatialization of international politics on behalf of actors and the normative character of competing geopolitical imaginations. It looks at the combination of diplomatic and security-related action and discursive categorizations based on ideology which generate oppositions, asymmetries, and hierarchies, including othering, with the purpose of enhancing power or safeguarding what the actor being analysed deems as security. Securitization entails the framing of an issue as a security matter, leading the adoption of exceptional measures (which can become permanent) to mitigate allegedly unfavourable consequences and solve identified problems. The European way of life lies at the heart of the EU’s ontological understanding of security and efforts to become a more resilient actor. It encompasses European values and principles, but also different types of safety (food, health, economic, social, etc.). By analysing the securitization of the European way of life and the need for defending it we seek to understand the EU’s discursive framing of the concepts of security and Europeanness as well as the implications of a potential exclusion generated by the inherent Derridean opposition to other ways of life.

Keywords: EU, Critical Geopolitics, discourse, securitization, othering

Inês Marques Ribeiro | CEI-Iscte, Portugal

Integrated Researcher and Science Manager at the Centre for International Studies at Iscte. Researcher at the National Defence policy Directorate to support the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first semestre of 2021. PhD in History, Security and Defence Studies focused on a critical discourse analysis of the EU’s normative justification as a crisis management actor (Iscte). Holds an M.A. in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe (Bruges), and a post-graduation in Classical Studies (University of Lisbon). Previously: Guest Assistant Professor at the History Department at Iscte. Editorial Assistant at the Portuguese Journal of Social Science. Research interests: European Union, Common Security and Defence Policy, Geopolitics, political discourse, Media, critical discourse analysis, Post-Structuralism, Constructivism, Comunication Sciences.