University of Twente Student Theses


Team Europe : A Comparative Discourse Analysis of European Norm Formation and Integration Theories

Westermann, Leon Joel (2023) Team Europe : A Comparative Discourse Analysis of European Norm Formation and Integration Theories.

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Abstract:The development initiative Team Europe, founded initially as a response to Covid-19, is one of the latest institutions of the European Union. Beyond responding to Covid-19, the EU intends to permanently incorporate TE to coordinate foreign development actions. This thesis explores the complex dynamics of norm formation and the integration process of Team Europe within the theoretical context of European integration. Theoretical constructs such as norms diffusion and three leading European integration theories form the research foundation to form competing hypotheses. By analysing the applicability and explanatory capacity of three European integration theories -Neo-Functionalism, New Intergovernmentalism, and Discursive Institutionalism- this research seeks to further the theoretical understanding of European integration and illuminate Team Europe's norm formation. Based on three exemplary countries -Sweden, Germany and France- discourse analysis was used as the primary research methodology to analyse the countries’ normative meaning around fundamental norms and related issue areas. While not finding conclusive evidence to reject or accept one integration theory, the thesis brought to light some interesting findings. The results of this thesis indicate that there is only minimal normative overlap between France's foreign policy, which is centred on connections with its former colonies, and the universalist approach inspired by feminist foreign policy by Germany and Sweden. This corresponds most closely to New Intergovernmentalism. This finding adds to research around European institutions as it adds to the academic discussion of the different European integration theories while also raising questions of whether development aid is driven more by interests or ideas.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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