Producing Knowledge on Regional Security: the EU's Liberal Governmentality Challenged in Georgia and Ukraine

António Leitão, Licinia Simão

One of the most significant crisis affecting the post-Cold War pan-European security order emerged from the clash of regional projects between the EU and Russia, developing since the 2000s. Under the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU has sought to promote a certain image of security rooted in a specific view of social, economic and political dynamics. This view has been actively contested by Russian leaders as instruments of power diffusion in an area of privileged interests for Moscow. Focusing on the problematisations and agents of knowledge production in EU foreign policy, this paper sets out to demonstrate how the construction of a specific view of regional security is developed within technocratic-political institutions in Brussels. We are particularly interested in the effects brought about by the development and persistence of a security crisis with Russia, since 2008. Unpacking the elements of the EU's relations with Georgia and Ukraine, we are well positioned to understand how the EU's liberal views on security come about and how they become reflected in the promotion of security apparatuses, deployed according to a liberal 'regime of truth'. They showcase strong elements of path dependency but also an imprint of the broader international narrative on liberal peace, reproduced by EU institutions and agents. Moreover, as Russia becomes more actively engaged in contesting this truth, both in the shared neighbourhood with the EU and globally, how have EU agents adjusted their security narratives and practices?

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