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Europe in the World

FMG Theme Group

This Europe in the World Resea­rch Theme focuses on understanding Europe and its relations with the rest of the world, and analyzing the EU in its global context. This calls for a nuanced account of the multilayered character of Europe in the world, Europe for the world, Europe and the world.

First, the EW Theme aims at developing an agenda of conceptual innovation that is required to understand the shape of contemporary EU power and its spatial reach. The EU is often said to be a unique entity on the global stage. Ongoing academic debates focus on ways of conceptualising such a nascent global power – using terms like normative, market, or liberal power. This includes the renegotiation of European identities and their territorial and scalar expressions, together with the bordering and ordering processes such a territorialisation encompasses. A first broad research question addressed within this theme is: how can we understand and assess EU external action, its novel modes of spatial reach, and its power in regional and global arenas?

Second, it is important to analyse Europe beyond the EU institutions, because member states, regions and cities, and non-state actors (such as banks or regulatory agencies) play an important role in the regulation of flows at its external borders. This concerns flows of people (migrants, asylum seekers), capital (including for the purpose of evading taxes), goods, services (back office delocalisation)  and information (fake news included). Matching the five freedoms of movement inside the internal market, we ask: how can we understand and assess EU multi-layered and decentered power, including the role of private actors in EU governance?

Third, the EW Theme draws on the diversity of FMG expertise on specific world regions, issue-areas and methodologies, and seeks to further develop specific strengths. The Faculty is gaining strength in expertise on EU-Middle East relations, which will continue to rank high on the EU’s agenda in the coming four years. The Faculty also has increasing research strength in the study of EU border policy and practices. In addition, the theme will work to address current topics and challenges (such as Brexit) through interdisciplinary work. Questions here include: how do issues of border control affect EU relations with the neighbourhood in terms of externalizing policies? How are issues of security and migration challenging the distinction between internal and external relations? How will Brexit affect the presence of the EU in the world, the capacity and expertise of the European External Action Service, and the EU’s relations with the Global South?

The EW Theme aims at fostering synergies between FMG researchers across disciplines and AISSR research programmes. The Theme will reach out towards colleagues working on the Global South, to benefit from their understanding of Europe and the EU. Theme activities will also promote exchanges beyond the FMG, with others researching the relations between Europe and the world, especially at the FGW (European Studies, History, Media Studies) and the FdR (European and International Law) as well as with researchers in Europe and in the rest of the World. Finally the Theme aims at engaging students with this research agenda, especially the UvA MSc tracks ‘European Politics and External Relations’ (Political Science) and ‘Political Geography’ (Human Geography) and the Research Masters in Social Science and International Development Studies.

Theme Leaders

Dr. V.D. (Virginie) Mamadouh

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

GPIO : Geographies of Globalizations

Dr. D. (Dimitris) Bouris

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance

Dr. B. (Beste) Isleyen

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance