Towards a Practice Turn in EU Studies: The Everyday of European Integration

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This article explores how practice theory can be recruited for the study of European integration. New generations of EU researchers are fascinated by the prospect of leaving the armchair and studying the people and artefacts that make the EU on an everyday level. This article surveys key practice-oriented, anthropological and micro-sociological studies of the EU and European integration and shows how their findings challenge more traditional understandings of the dynamics of European integration. Moving beyond a stock-taking, the article distinguishes between ‘order- ing’ and ‘disordering’ practices and explores the potential of a practice turn in EU studies for both theory (overcoming dualism, replacing substantialism with processualism and rethinking power) and methods (including unstructured interviews, fieldwork and participant observation). A practice turn will force us to rethink core assumptions about the EU and allow us to grasp otherwise uncharted performances and social activities that are crucial for European integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

JCMS Special Issue 2016: Another Theory is Possible: Dissident Voices in Theorising Europe. Guest Editors: Ian Manners and Richard Whitman

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - anthropology , European integration theory, everyday, micro-sociology, participant observation, practice theory

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