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Related publication: 

Selchow, Sabine (2016) 'Mogherini’s The European Union in a changing global environment: a discursive space to rethink the world', 23 May 2016,

Journal Article


The construction of “European security” in The European Union in a changing global environment: A systematic analysis

Selchow, Sabine (2016). 'The Construction of “European security” in The European Union in a Changing Global Environment: A Systematic Analysis.' European Security, 25(3): 281-303. Read online

Abstract: In June 2015 High Representative Mogherini presented her strategic assessment The European Union in a changing global environment as the express point of reference for the new EU Global Strategy. Grounded in the premise that this assessment is not simply a description of the state of the world but plays into the construction of social reality, this article sets out to understand the openings and closings of possibilities that it holds. My analysis generates a number of concrete insights, ranging from insights into the distinct nature of the challenges the EU is facing, to the discovery that there is no “existential threat” and the importance of “regions” as a guiding category. Grounded in an understanding of the world as being reflexive modern, I interpret these findings as displaying an intriguing and paradoxical interpretive disposition. On the one side, there is a notable opening towards unconventional conceptions of the world; on the other side, there is a symbolic conservation of existing EU institutions and programmes and a reproduction of modern premises. I argue that it is the first aspect that makes the document significant: Mogherini’s strategic assessment opens an important discursive space to think (European) security anew.

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