September 23rd - 25th, 2022 in Athens, Greece
Hellenic American University announces the 3rd International Europe in Discourse Conference which will take place in Athens, Greece, September 23-25, 2022. The theme of this year’s Conference is Tracing Identity through Values, History and Borders.
Launched in 2016, Europe in Discourse is an interdisciplinary project that brings together faculty, students, researchers, early-career scholars and professionals to explore what is unique about Europe and why “Europeanness” matters.
EID III re-opens the conversation developed in previous two Conferences about the future of Europe and its identity. As was the case in 2016 and 2018, discourse provides an analytical tool to diagnose the multiple constructions of Europe across contexts, texts, institutional or other.
The third Conference also remains faithful to the conviction that there should be a dialogue between those who talk about Europe and analyze it and those who “do” Europe and shape it. The Conference is therefore an open call to political analysts, communication experts, diplomacy and security experts, public leaders, historians, economists and policymakers from a variety of fields to engage with the Conference themes and submit a contribution along the formats accepted.
Tracing Identity through Values, History, and Borders foregrounds values as an ever-present dimension of European identity. If, within Europe, governing also takes place by mobilizing values then there should be consensus that to understand European identity becomes fundamental to trace those core values it draws on. At the same time, the political mobilization of values brought about tensions around what Europeanness means and how differing values had a place in the European sphere. Questions that arise include: does Europe, exert normative power, does it resort to values as functional tools for policy-making (transparency) or does it decide to promote political paradigms (governance)? Which values have been historically mobilized to unite Europeans and shape how others perceive Europe (Europeanization)? How current are the values of the Treaty of Lisbon? Can Europe rely only on soft power to increase its relevance?
Values, however, cannot be stripped from history as they are clearly expressed in social and historical change and transformed through such change. Values, therefore, form the backdrop against which a call to legitimization of European action is played out.
The topic of borders, invites us to consider European identity spatially. This has often been framed in terms of state territorialities but there have been calls for a renewed approach with a spatial demarcation of Europe that is less “hard”. While the European Union, as an institutional space of policymaking, is associated with borders, Europeanness, does not necessarily imply a spatial mark. It is not identified with a specific location but always draws more on a collective archive from a shared values-based past. In the post-Lisbon treaty era, therefore, Europe and the European Union may need to balance the need for “hard” borders with the recognition that a values-based European Union may require “soft” b-ordering.
These three closely intersecting dimensions are informing current debates about European identity and raise important questions: Can the often-powerful ties between Euroscepticism and populism derail the project of European integration? How transformative has Brexit been for the European Union? Does the European Union exert a normative values-based legitimization (governing by values)? If so, what are the linguistic and, therefore, communicative tokens of this? What are the diverse values that each nation state contributes to the European Union and how are these values discursively reflected? How aligned are the so-called imagined and experienced Europe particularly after Brexit?
Deadline: May 30th 2022
Given the increased inquiries about the Conference and taking account of the unfolding events with the War in Ukraine, the Organizing Committee of the Europe in Discourse decides to extend the deadline. Consult the Call for Papers here and submit your paper to discuss Europe, its past and future.
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