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The birth of the European Union : challenging the myth of the civilian power narrative

Die "Zivilmacht EU" im Lichte der Planungen zur "Europäischen Verteidigungsgemeinschaft" (EVG): Kritik eines Deutungsmusters
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Phillipps, Sören

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Abstract 'The virtues of counterfactual thinking in history lie in its potential to induce critical reflection on the past and to highlight historical alternatives, thereby enabling the reassessment of prevailing interpretation patterns. This article illustrates these points with reference to the European Defence Community (EDC) and its conflicting relationship with the 'civilian power'-character the EU claims to hold. Despite of its failure in 1954, EDC's sheer existence suffices for problematizing the inevitability of EU's civilian character as a pre-determined feature arising from integration history. Therefore a specific counterfactual scenario is not needed for criticizing this master narrative. EDC's short history challenges the assumption of deliberate choice in favour of 'civilianness' in European external relations, and underlines the general openness of historical processes on this background.' (author's abstract)
Keywords defense policy; historical development; historical analysis; military; international relations; civil society; thinking; interpretation; EU; Europe; Western Europe; EEC; criticism; historiography; science
Classification General History
Method historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 203-214
Journal Historical Social Research, 34 (2009) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works