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Discursive differences and policy outcomes: EU-Russia relations and security in Europe

Author(s): Licínia SIMÃO

Journal: Eastern Journal of European Studies
ISSN 2068-651X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 85;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: European Union | Russia | identity | discourse | security | neighbourhood

The redefinition of political communities in Europe has been a process in flux, especially since the end of the Cold War. The central role of the EU as an “identity builder” (Risse, 2009) among its member states, and to a certain extent in its relations with its neighbours, has been increasingly contested, not least in its relations with Russia. Europe has been a permanent feature of Russia‟s identity redefinition following the collapse of the Soviet Union and therefore a central element shaping relations between the two actors. This article puts forward the argument that differences in discourse and meanings have an impact in policy outcomes, as regards EU-Russia relations and security in Europe. It surveys fundamental events in European security and the parallel evolution in security discourses within the EU and Russia. It, therefore, maps the main elements shaping EU-Russia security relations, focusing on the construction of discursive maps and on how these have impacted bilateral and regional security relations.
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