Field of dreams: The discursive construction of EU studies, intellectual dissidence and the practice of ‘normal science’

Ben Rosamond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores how and why established understandings of an academic field’s history matter. In particular, it shows in the case of EU studies that a settled narrative of the pivotal theoretical debate between neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism has been a vital rhetorical tool in the constitution of the field since the 1990s. Drawing on citation data and contemporaneous accounts of the theoretical architecture of the field from the 1970s and 1980s, the article shows that the idea of an intergovernmentalist school of theory is a retrospective construction developed in the 1980s and 1990s that has been read back into the past of the field of integration studies. The further effects of this settled intersubjective understanding of EU studies past include contribute to the stereotyping and simplification of neofunctionalism, the writing out the field’s key archive of other mainstream theoretical work and the continued silencing of non-mainstream or ‘dissident’ theoretical voices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Volume54
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • dissidence
  • EU studies
  • intergovernmentalism
  • disciplinary history

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