ECPR/SGEU Conference in Trento, 16-18 June 2016 – Call for Papers

Title: Understanding EU responses towards crises and conflicts

The EU’s neighborhood is fraught with crises and conflicts, which range from the violent civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State and the more entrenched situations of Israel-Palestine, Morocco-Western Sahara, Nagorno-Karabakh just to mention a few. Migration flows, including the recent refugee crisis, are also issues that the EU has to face on the international stage. And if we move beyond the neighborhood, conflicts in Africa, the instability in Afghanistan and Iraq and environmental disasters around the world force the EU to act.

While a lot has been said about the divergent interests of EU member states, the lack of instruments or of political willingness as well as solidarity, less is known about the ways in which the EU constructs its understanding of crises and conflicts, which actors participate in these processes of framing and knowledge construction and how these factors shape EU actions. Instead of moving backwards from outcomes towards assuming the motives and logics driving EU responses, it is thus important to investigate the processes that shape these responses.

Against this backdrop, the panel aims to investigate how the EU responds to crisis events and conflict situations and what factors shape these (policy) responses. In particular, some of the possible questions that can be addressed by contributors are:

  • How does the EU make sense of and frames crises and conflicts?
  • What actors contribute to the processes of framing and knowledge construction?
  • What different types of knowledge emerge through these processes?
  • Under what conditions does policy learning take place?
  • Under what conditions does knowledge travel across cases?
  • When do crises lead to policy change and when does continuity persist? And what factors explain this (lack of) change?

The panel(s) is strongly committed to theoretical, epistemological and methodological pluralism. Paper abstracts of maximum 300 words should be submitted to Leila Hadj Abdou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Benedetta Voltolini (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by the 10th October 2015. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.

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