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Session Overview
Panel 810: Emotion in European Foreign Policy at Times of Populism
Wednesday, 04/Sep/2019:
9:30am - 11:00am

Session Chair: Trineke Palm, Utrecht University
Location: Anfiteatro 4

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Emotion in European Foreign Policy at Times of Populism

Chair(s): Trineke Palm (Utrecht University)

This panel focuses on the role that the study of emotions can play in the analysis of EU foreign policy at the times of populism. The four papers mostly adopt discourse analysis as a method, but also search for additional methods to contribute to the study of emotions in EU foreign policy. The first paper looks into the emotional language behind the documents outlining EU’s counter- terrorism strategies and how they resonate with the perceptions of fear and threat in the right-wing populist rhetoric in a selected group of EU countries. The second paper analyses the EU’s enlargement policy as a policy area extensively strained by emotions not only for both the candidate countries and the public opinion of the member states, but also for the policy-makers in Brussels. The third paper looks into the normative influence of the EP resolutions on the ‘Armenian genocide’ and the Cyprus issue, and the instrumentalisation of emotions on these issues by both Turkey and the EP. The last paper focuses on the historical turning points of Turkey-EU relations through an analysis of the emotions involved for both sides. The panel aims at establishing further contacts with an engaged audience for the further study of emotions in European studies.


Presentations of the Symposium


Emotion as a Factor in Determining Future 'Europeans'

Özlem Terzi
Vrije Unversiteit Amsterdam

After the EU’s 2004 enlargement, many have talked about the enlargement ‘fatigue’. With Brexit and the immigration crisis that followed the Eurozone crisis, it is even possible to speak of an integration fatigue. This paper argues that a whole set of emotions in the European public is set off by the thought of further enlarging the EU. There is a widespread ‘fear’ for enlargement towards the source and transit regions of migration. There is also ‘resentment’ that the EU integration process did not turn out to be what was promised as signified by the Brexit decision, and exemplified by the alarm of further EU enlargement in the Leave campaign. This paper focuses on these emotions in the EU’s enlargement policy, and analyses them not only as a strong input for decisions on the EU’s enlargement policy, but also as justifications of decisions taken in a strong response to rising populism among EU countries. The paper will use three sources of data to present this analysis, public opinion surveys, regular reports of the European Commission, and speeches by the EU leaders. Through discourse analysis, the paper aims to contribute to the panel’s discussion on the relevance of study of emotions while analysing European integration, with the particular case of the enlargement policy area.


Emotions in Parliamentary Diplomacy: Debating Armenian Genocide and Cyprus issue in the European Parliament

Seda Gürkan
Université Libre de Bruxelles

The paper analyzes the role of emotional memories and emotive phenomena in shaping the normative actorness of the European Parliament (EP) in its external relations with the parliaments of non-EU countries. More specifically, it seeks to understand the impact of the properties of the issues or norms promoted by the EP on its normative influence on Turkey. The objective of the paper is twofold: First, building theoretically on the assumptions of the communicative action theory, it offers an analytical framework for studying the EP’s normative actorness in engaging the political elite of third states in communicative processes. Second, drawing empirically on the exchanges between Turkish legislators and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Armenian genocide and Cyprus issue – two highly emotional issues for the Turkish side – it demonstrates how emotive norms might limit the EP’s normative role. The paper concludes that while the properties of norms are essential for understanding the limits of the EP’s normative role, emotions might have been instrumentalized by both Turkey and the EP – albeit for different reasons. In a longitudinal research design, the paper examines inter-parliamentary relations between the EP and Turkey with a particular focus on EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee meetings across five legislative terms of the EP from 1999 until 2019. The research relies on the qualitative analysis of EP resolutions on Turkey and the minutes of JPC meetings. Frame analysis will be used as an analytical tool to organize and qualitatively analyze the data.


Emotion as a Factor in Turkey-EU Relations

Çiğdem Nas
Yıldız Technical University

Turkey-EU relations are often personified as a “love-hate” relationship which in itself signifies the important role of emotions. Turkey’s relations with the EU date back to 1959 when the country made an application to form an association with the then EEC. Since then Turkey-EU relations experienced ebbs and flows, went through periods of convergence followed by divergence. In each phase, it is possible to observe the overpowering presence of emotions influencing the relations, maybe more than rational calculations. While relations may be based on mutual interests resting on rational calculations of benefit, the overbearing influence of emotions may enhance or retard the fulfilment of specific plans and/or targets in Turkey-EU relations. For example, Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU started in 2005 based on expectations of mutual gain for both parties but could not proceed effectively afterwards. One of the most important reasons blocking the progress of accession process was related to the influence of emotions on both sides, emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, disdain, frustration, and rejection. The paper aims to study the role of emotions in Turkey-EU relations in a historical perspective by giving examples from ground-breaking developments in Turkey-EU relations. Newspaper articles, speeches and public opinion surveys will be analysed.

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