Geopolitics and Expertise is an in-depth exploration of how expert knowledge is created and exercised in the external relations machinery of the European Union.
A rare full-length work on transnational diplomatic practice
A rigorous and empirical study, based on over 100 interviews with policy professionals over seven years
Focuses on the qualitative and contextual rather than the quantitative and uniform
Moves beyond traditional political science to blend human geography, international relations, anthropology, and sociology
"This book transcends the now problematic divide between representational and practical approaches to understanding geopolitical relations. More specifically, much research on the EU tends to focus more on the formal workings of the institutions and rarely penetrates the corridors of power to consider what actually happens within the bureaucracy itself. The book is to be welcomed as a contribution to theoretical debate in human geography and as a significant contribution to EU Studies."
– John Agnew, UCLA
"In contrast to the oceans of generalization about the European Union, here is a high-resolution study of the balance of interests and power based on years of face-to-face interactions with diplomats and Eurocrats who inhabit Brussels' European Quarter."
– James D Sidaway, National University of Singapore
Series Editors' Preface vii
Introduction: The Crown Jewel 1
1 The Dead Relative: Bounding Europe in Europe 12
Geopolitics by Nobody; Carving Places out of Space; Embodied Europes
2 Knowledge and Policy in Transnational Fields 32
Placing Diplomatic Knowledge; Policy Fields; "The work of reciprocal elucidation"
3 Brussels and Theatre: Bureaucracy and Place 61
Planet Brussels; Those Who Hold the Pen: EU Professionals; The Political and the Technical – and the Social
4 Transnational Diplomats: Representing Europe in EU 27 86
European External Action Service; Curved Mirrors: Negotiating the National; The Group for Which There is no Term: The New Member States
5 Powers of Conceptualization and Contextualization 112
A New Object of Knowledge; Fields of Expertise in the European Quarter; "Most people just want to do what they are told"
6 Feel for the Game: Symbolic Capital in the European Quarter 133
Symbolic Capital; "We are dealing with elites"; "In the third degree of depth"; "An urbane, subtle approach"; Shifts and Spirals
7 Political Geographies of Expertise 171
Knowledge From and On the East; Finding a Market; "Things are evolving"; Managing Difference
Conclusion: Circles of Knowledge 195
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Merje Kuus is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her research focuses on political geography and transnational policy processes. She is the author of Geopolitics Reframed: Security and Identity in Europe's Eastern Enlargement (2007) and co-editor of the Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics (2013). She has also written on security narratives, intellectuals of statecraft, the idea of Europe, and transnational diplomatic practice.