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Networks and Narratives: The Transnational Community of European Studies 1957-2004 (ESNETNARR)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Challenges to elite accounts of European integration are central to the current EU crisis. It is therefore vital to understand how European elites construct these ‘narratives’. The proposed research will examine the transnational community of European Studies (ES) since 1957, as it had a crucial role in shaping these narratives. It will ask how the position of scholars within this network affected what they said or implied about the spatial reach and extent of integration.The project will integrate multilingual discourse analysis of narratives in canonical scholarly texts about enlargement, spatial differentiation and culture, with social network analysis (SNA) of this scholarly community’s transnational organisation. This SNA will use institutional, citation, CV and interview data. To de-centre Anglophone scholarship, and to examine the effects of transnational integration and relations between prestigious core locations (Germany and France) and less developed scholarly sites, the project will focus on the disciplines of political science, sociology and contemporary history in three case studies. These are the EC/EU accessions of the UK (1957-73), Spain (1975-86) and Poland (1990-2004).The applicant proposes an ambitious, original contribution to research on integration. He will publish several high-quality works, extend his transnational network of contacts and acquire crucial skills in postgraduate teaching, PhD supervision, management and research. New SNA and research interviewing skills will be vital for his innovative interdisciplinary combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. He will be based at Portsmouth University’s Centre for European and International Studies Research, which has excellent training facilities for early career researchers. He will work with Professor Wolfram Kaiser, a leading contemporary historian and interdisciplinary ES scholar with a research background in transnational networks, narratives and other relevant areas.
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