European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

European security and defence policy and the emergence of a shared normative self-understanding


The European Union is moving towards a closer political union and envisions future projects of epochal dimensions. Among these projects are the Common Security and Foreign Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy (CSFP/ESDP). But these policy fields are very likely to interfere with national sovereignty and traditions. That is why some people hold that without shared values European governance is condemned to be ineffective, chaotic and irresponsible: "Europe doesn't speak with one voice". The issue of European identity formation is therefore of high relevance for political action. The first part of the proposed project will contribute to an innovative theoretical model of collective identity formation.

It develops three ideas:
1. Collective identities become objects of reflection in situations of crisis, intense social change or when people try to cope with traumatic collective experiences, which challenge their shared normative self-understanding.
2. It will be distinguished between numerical identification (categorisation) and qualitative (self-) identification, which may involve collectively shared ethical convictions.
3. Questioning positions that claim different languages and cultures were obstacles to political integration that could not be overcome it will be argued that community building proceeds by co-operative problem-solving. In the second part a comparative case study on discourses about the CSFP/ESDP will be realised on the basis of extended literature surveys and on a series of expert interviews in twelve countries including old and new member states and non-EU member states as control group.

The study is focussed on characterising the problem-solving situations, the social carrier groups, the normative arguments, and the reorganisation of collective memory and will generate empirical knowledge about the developing contours of a European defence identity in contrast to non-EU member's interpretations of the new internation.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


EU contribution
No data
Via dei Roccettini 7

See on map

Total cost
No data