The Power of Peaceful Change: The Crisis of the European Union and the Rebalancing of Europe’s Regional Order

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The European Union is typically perceived by its proponents as an avant-garde, anti–power politics polity capable of civilizing its own political space and its geopolitical neighborhood. For the past decade, this conventional European narrative has been challenged by a series of events and developments amounting to an allegedly existential crisis of the EU. In order to understand the crisis and its potential consequences for peaceful change in Europe, we use two analytical prisms to explore how and why the EU is, at the same time, a successful example of international peaceful change—even peaceful transformation—in international affairs and plagued by existential crisis. The first prism is realist and explains European integration and its development in terms of the interests of the most powerful states. The second prism is identity constructivist and explains European integration in terms of identity articulations. We argue that realists are right to point to the importance of a power shift in Europe, but wrong to argue that this is threatening EU-integration. Germany is now stronger than before, but German discourse on how to exercise power is closely intertwined with peaceful change and EU-integration.
Translated title of the contributionFredelige forandringers magt: EUs krise og rebalanceringen af den europæiske regionale orden
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)317-325
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Peaceful Change, European Union, Regional order, Realism, Identity constructivism, Germany, France, Crisis

ID: 186081175