The Limits of EUrope

‘The Limits of EUrope’ special edition of Global Discourse is out this month… Co-editor Russell Foster previews the edition:

Russell Foster, Co-Editor of Global Discourse: EUrope Special Edition.

‘EUrope’ is changing. In the most visible way this change has recently manifested itself in a drawn-out Brexit which will satisfy no-one, the rise of Euroscepticism and illiberal democracies in response to immigration and integration failures, a potentially resurgent eurozone crisis and continuing economic disparities across the EU, and mounting perceptions of a democratic deficit and the (il)legitimacy of EU institutions. These raise many difficult questions, the hardest of which is – can the EU survive?

Our special edition “The Limits of EUrope” examines the challenges to the EU, and explores possible causes, and theories, of European disintegration. EUrope is changing rapidly – still struggling to respond to the aftershocks of the last few years while facing imminent challenges for the new European Parliament. The next European Commission will inherit an EU racked with political, economic, social, and institutional difficulties, with European populations strongly divided between those who see the Union as their best defence and those whose understandable anger and sense of abandonment are projected onto the EU.

Free movement, free trade, and a pooling of sovereignty – the dreams of the ECSC’s and EEC’s creators – are not merely a reality; they are a reality which threatens to bring the entire European project crashing down.

This journal brings together some of the leading scholars of EU studies, as well as experts from policymaking, civil advocacy, and industry, to investigate the serious challenges facing EUrope. For the first time, the post-war promise of democratic, peaceful, prosperous and open political union is not merely threatened, but is perhaps the cause of its own reversal. Free movement, free trade, and a pooling of sovereignty – the dreams of the ECSC’s and EEC’s creators – are not merely a reality; they are a reality which threatens to bring the entire European project crashing down.

Popular consensus holds that mass Euroscepticism was defeated in 2017. But as current events across the EU demonstrate, the root causes of mass dissatisfaction have not gone away. The challenges which have faced EUrope since 2008 have neither been resolved nor disappeared of their own accord, and are likely to return in the future along with new challenges resulting from Brexit, a weaker German government, Macron’s tumbling approval ratings, and a right-wing surge from Andalusia to Saxony. These challenges necessitate new academic models of Europeanisation, de-Europeanisation, and EUrope itself.

This interdisciplinary, international special edition, which draws together a diverse mixture of opinions, beliefs, backgrounds and specialisms, is a first step towards understanding how EUrope’s successes may be the cause of EUrope’s failures. It is now abundantly clear that EUrope will not be the universal political, economic and social model anticipated in the heyday of integration and expansion, and that while EUrope is unlikely to fragment or shatter as was widely predicted during the heights of the Eurozone and Migration crises, future EUrope will be very unpredictable. A new Parliament, a new Commission, the approaching end of the Merkel and Macron administrations, and the unforeseeable aftermath of Brexit – all of these will have major impacts on EUrope. What will be the future of EUrope? This journal offers some of the earliest thoughts.

Call for Papers: The Politics of Negative Emotion

Dan Degerman, Issue Editor

Call for papers: The Politics of Negative Emotions

Global Discourse, Volume 11, Issue 1


Edited by Dan Degerman, Lancaster University (

Negative emotions seemingly lie at the heart of recent political changes and movements in the West. Anger, fear and sadness have, to varying degrees, been implicated in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the rise of Trump, on the one hand, and the persistence of Black Lives Matter and the impact of the Me Too movement, on the other. Rightly or wrongly, the negative emotions of disadvantaged groups and their role in political action have long been a subject of suspicion, criticism and regulation. A philosophical tradition that stretches from Plato to Martha Nussbaum has urged us to keep negative emotions like anger and jealousy out of politics, and to instead nurture positive ones, like love and compassion. Yet, that must be confounding to minorities, the poor and other marginalized groups, whose political claims frequently originate in negative emotions and take the form of emotional expressions. Indeed, their marginalization and attendant suffering has been exacerbated by processes, such as medicalization, which prompt individuals to think of their anger, fear and other painful emotions as personal problems to be dealt with in the medical or some other ostensibly apolitical sphere. But not everyone believes negative emotions must be kept out of politics. Some feminists have long defended the political value of anger. And, more recently, such thinkers as Judith Butler and Deborah Gould have highlighted the politically empowering and constructive role that other negative emotions can play as well. But whether these newer perspectives can survive the popular trend of blaming our contemporary political problems on passions like anger and fear remains to be seen.

This issue of Global Discourse seeks to examine the specific challenges posed by political responses to negative emotion through engagement and analysis of real-world cases, such as the rise of the far right in Europe and the US, Brexit, Black Lives Matter and Me Too. Possible questions to be explored include:

  • What is the relationship between negative emotions and political agency?
  • Who is permitted to express negative emotions, and whose emotions get medicalized, irrationalized or depoliticized in some other way?
  • Should negative emotions play a role in political processes, such as elections and referenda, policy-making and protests?
  • Should liberal democratic governments seek to expel negative and instil positive emotions in their citizens?
  • What is the relationship between negative emotions and the politics of well-being?
  • Can there be a politics of negative emotions independent of identity politics?

Submission instructions and deadlines

Abstracts of 400 words: 1st March 2019

Articles (solicited on the basis of review of abstracts): 1st August 2019

Publication: mid-2020

Instructions for authors

Please submit by email all abstracts and articles to the Guest Editors

Further details:

Editor contact details: Dan Degerman (

Journal Aims and Scope

Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal’s scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.