Workshop: The European Security Field
On 21 October 2009 SPES fellow Raluca Csernatoni presented her PhD project on “The Practical Logic of the European Security Field: The Case of the New EU Member States” to students of the MA programme Military Studies offered at the University of Potsdam.
Csernatoni’s research proposes to cross-cut the scholarship of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu with the broader debates on Europeanization and strategic culture, the principal aim being that to trace and signify the reform dynamics of the new European Union (EU) member states’ security sectors. Three general lines of argumentation are followed in Csernatoni’s thesis: one that attempts to shed further light on the gaps existing in the literature of Europeanization and that of strategic culture; one that brings to the fore the conceptual apparatus proposed by Pierre Bourdieu, in an attempt to test his sociological inquiry with the aforementioned literatures; and finally, one that discusses the tensions and complementarities between two international influences in the case of the new EU member states’ security and defence reform, i.e. the EU per se and the role of NATO in the post-Cold War security context. Three paradigmatic hard case-studies would eventually empirically inform the research, namely the cases of Romania, Hungary, and Poland. Consequently, the conceptual apparatus developed in Csernatoni’s PhD thesis draws inspiration from three strands of literature: the state of the art in the Europeanization literature, the theoretical debates centering on strategic culture, and the political sociology of Pierre Bourdieu – more precisely the interrelationship between his three core conceptual clusters: the notions of field, habitus, and capital. Csernatoni argued that the added value of such a research is that it explains both inertia and change within the relevant security fields in both dimensions of practice and discourse: on the one hand by explaining why certain habits remain entrenched; and on the other hand why other practices transform due to the dialectic interplay between structural conditions and the agency of actors with their specific capitals and habitual dispositions. Csernatoni concluded that the theoretical challenge would be to develop a comprehensive research agenda that can signify both material interest-based and normative cultural causes that have influenced the relevant social actors in the field of security.
By: Raluca Csernatoni, Daniel Matteo