The European Union from the peripheries and the concept of the Global East(s)
Co-convened by: Miranda Loli and Szilvia Nagy
Discussions in European Studies and International Relations are often narrowed to scholarship on the EU’s position as a global actor, its normative frameworks, and issues of Europeanisation. Most of these approaches have traditionally viewed the EU from an inside-out perspective, placing meaning-making and geopolitical organisation at the hegemonic centre. In this panel, in collaboration with the EUROGLOT Research Network, we aim to address the EU’s role and position in world politics from its presumed ‘peripheries,’ amplifying global and othered voices.
This panel aims to examine the EU in the world from peripheralised epistemic spaces, and in particular to investigate how the concept of the Global East(s) can be generative of further analytical inquiries. Our panel seeks papers that embrace critical, non-Eurocentric approaches, perspectives, and methodologies to study the peripheral(ised) actors and practices, especially including but not limited to the fields of EU foreign policy, development, peace and conflict, and transitional justice. We particularly invite papers that critically incorporate Global East(s) approaches and explore the epistemic spaces opening up between the traditional, hemispheric, nation-state-centric understandings of the ‘Global North’ and the ‘Global South’. Our goal is to facilitate a dialogue between various critical frameworks that can help to better understand how actors, processes, and structures typically viewed as passive rather than co-constitutive subjects of EU policy, in fact negotiate, contest, mediate, (re)produce, or contribute to its global role.
Some guiding questions for our panel will be:
- Why does it matter to critically understand the Global East(s) as an epistemological stance and scholarly praxis on mapping the EU’s role in world politics?
- What can be learned and unlearned from the concept – and lived experiences – of the former ‘Second World’? Crucially, how can the concept help overcome the Eurocentrism and persistence of the ‘Three Worlds’ ideology in global politics?
- How can the liminalities and dualities inherited in the concept of Global East(s) contribute to or learn from decolonial thought and praxis?
- What are the links between the (post)socialist and the (post)colonial?
- In what ways do scholarly and political discourses and practices claim a position of Global Eastness and yet reinscribe themselves into hierarchical relations of power and worldmaking? How can we critically counter such problematic discourses and practices?
The image above is a 35mm film photo of communist-era industrial buildings dispersed throughout the old iron-and-steel manufacturing quarter run by GANZ in what is now the Józsefváros piac in Budapest. Often read as the city’s unofficial Chinatown or Little Saigon, the suburban marketspace that today contextualises these built spaces, in more ways than one, inhabits an assembly point of many ‘easts’. Photo credit: Antonio Salvador M. Alcazar III