Theory of European Security Identity

Led by J. Peter Burgess
Jan 2003 - Dec 2003

In the last decade Europe has undergone a geopolitical transformation the architects of the European Union hardly could have foreseen. The political dissolution of the East-West divide has left Europe scrambling to redefine its relation to Eastern Europe, both in terms of the long-awaited enlargement to the east and in terms of a real foreign policy toward Russia, Asia and Africa. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the traditional rival of the US, has made way for an unprecedented US geopolitical hegemony, sharpening the EU’s aspiration to consolidate and crystallize its identity on the global scene. Simultaneously, the realization of the Schengen Area has given the EU a new outward identity, transforming it into a concentration of welfare and liberal economic policy in relation to a migratory global work force. Finally, the intense focus on global terrorism in the wake of 11 September has marginalized virtually all other global issues and crystallized the United States’ ‘global war on terrorism’ as the backdrop for any form of global thinking, be it military, economic, or environmental.

The aim of the project is to develop the theoretical foundation for conceptualizing the evolving European security identity, as both as a basis for articulating the European self-understanding outward toward the rest of the world and as a way of conceptualizing the position of Europe’s foreign counterparts with respect to the European project. The proposed project will map out the cultural history and the main discourses of European security and foreign policy, sharpening the theoretical and philosophical concepts at implicit in its foundations. It will study how Europe’s security identity is being formed and evolves in relation to other parts of the world.


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Burgess, J. Peter (2004) Ambivalent patriotism: Jacob Aall and Dano-Norwegian Identity before 1814, Nations and Nationalism 10(4): 619–637.
Burgess, J. Peter (2004) Theory of European Identity: Project Results: 79–.

Book Chapter

Burgess, J. Peter (2004) The Ethic of Securitization, in Alessandro Gobbicchi, ed., Globalization, Armed Conflicts, and Security. Rome: Centro militare di Studi Strategici/Rubbettino (209–226).

Conference Paper

Burgess, J. Peter (2004) Che cos’è un intervento militare europeo?: Il caso del Kosovo [What is a European Military Intervention? The Case of Kosovo], presented at Guerra et consenso: Il dibattito sull’uso delle armi nel mondo moderno e contemporaneo (War and Consensus: The Debate on the Use of Arms in the Modern and Contemporary World), Pavia, Italy, 22 March.
Burgess, J. Peter (2004) The Question of Justice in Moral, Political and Legal Community, presented at Social Justice: Conference of the Network on Applied Global Justice, University of Zürich, 22 October.
Burgess, J. Peter (2004) The National Thing: Zizek's Contribution to the Nationalism Debate, presented at Democracy and Psychoanalysis, APCS, Columbia University, NYC, 14–16 October.

Report - External Series

Burgess, J. Peter (2003) Security Identity, interim report for the project Theory of European Security Identity. Rome.