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For a Global European Studies? Domestic Politics, International Relations and the Myth of European Exceptionalism

Ben Martill

This paper argues for the broader relevance of the theories, concepts and methods which have emerged out of the synthesis of Comparative Politics and International Relations within the field of European Studies. I claim the context within which these disparate branches of political science were brought together has had important implications for their subsequent development. The result was the emergence of a sophisticated body of literature on the domestic politics of interstate behaviour viewed as applicable only within European Studies. These works were viewed of relevance to international relations more broadly only to the extent that the international order became more densely institutionalised. This assumption of 'European Exceptionalism' is both misguided and unfortunate. European Studies accounts of the domestic politics of international relations offer the promise of theoretical sophistication, methodological rigour and the provision of extensive empirical data. Moreover, the barriers to integrating these theories are not insurmountable - rather, they ask only cognisance of the anarchic, relational and power-based elements of international affairs. I argue that these adaptations are a worthy price to pay for the increased sophistication accompanying the introduction of European Studies' theories, methods and concepts into the broader study of global interstate relations.

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