Another Theory is Possible: Dissident Voices in Theorising Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial Issue (editor)


The past decade has witnessed the opening of a yawning chasm between scholarly attempts to theorise European union and the political realities of the EU (European Union) in crisis. The decade that has witnessed the ascendency of political systems analysis, neoliberal assumptions of efficiency and Europeanisation studies within Europe has also seen the failure of intergovernmental attempts to reform the EU, economic crisis across Europe and a collapse in popular support for the European project, as seen in the European Parliament elections. Dissenting voices that attempt to theorise Europe differently and advocate another European trajectory have been largely excluded and left unheard in mainstream discussions over the past decade of scholarship and analysis. Mainstream EU scholarship broadly accepts the premise that the EU is a neoliberal, state-like political system and that Europeanisation is a one-way process.

Dissident voices in EU studies are those that seek to actively challenge the mainstream of the study of Europe on these grounds. While the mainstream of EU studies may consider itself ‘pluralist’, this self-reading only makes sense within a narrow conception of ontology, epistemology and methodology, as the special issue discusses. Theorists working from a dissident perspective adopt a variety of ontological, epistemological and methodological standpoints. What they share is their starting point that the study of Europe has a dominant set of discursive, intellectual and academic practices which they seek to challenge.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of Kent
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • European Union, European integration, dissident voices
Original languageEnglish
Article number1-12
Pages (from-to)3-202
Number of pages199
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

Special Issue: JCMS Special Issue 2016: Another Theory is Possible: Dissident Voices in Theorising Europe. Guest Editors: Ian Manners and Richard Whitman

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