The Politics of Becoming European: A study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War security imaginaries, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Becoming European

A study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War security imaginaries, 1st Edition

By Maria Mälksoo


224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415851374
pub: 2013-06-01
Hardback: 9780415499972
pub: 2009-10-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203871898
pub: 2009-10-26
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This book weaves together perspectives drawn from critical international relations, anthropology and social theory in order to understand the Polish and Baltic post-Cold War politics of becoming European.

Approaching the study of Europe’s eastern enlargement through a post-colonial critique, author Maria Mälksoo makes a convincing case for a rethinking of European identity. Drawing on the theorist Edward Said, she contends that studies of the European Union are marked by a prevailing Orientalism, rarely asking who has traditionally been able to define European identity, and whether this identity should be presented as an historical process rather than a static category. The central argument of this book is that the historical experience of being framed as simultaneously in Europe - and yet not quite in Europe – informs the current self-understandings and security imaginaries of Poland and the Baltic States. Exploring this existential condition of ‘liminal Europeaness’ among foreign and security policy-making elites, the book considers its effects on key security policy issues, including relations with Western Europe, Russia and the United States.

Supported by solid empirical analyses, this book provides an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to the post-Cold War predicament of Poland and the Baltic States. It will be of interest to students and scholars of International Relations, European Studies, Social and Political Theory, and Anthropology.


'This is a remarkable and even daring book. In 154 pages Maria Ma¨lksoo, a researcher at the International Centre for Defense Studies in Tallinn, Estonia, fastidiously sets out to understand the post-Cold War politics of becoming European.' - Meike Wulf - (University of Maastricht) Journal of Baltic Studies.

Table of Contents

1. The Politics of Becoming European 2. Dialogical Understanding of Collective Identity Formation 3. Liminality in the Politics of Becoming 4. ‘Becoming European’ as Identity Politics: Europe and Old and New 5. The Memory Politics of Becoming European: The East European Subalterns and the Collective Memory of Europe 6. The ‘Carnival’ of Iraq as the Meeting Point for Identity, Memory and Security Politics of Becoming European 7. Conclusion: How We Become What We Are

About the Author

Maria Mälksoo is a Researcher at the International Centre for Defence Studies, Tallinn, Estonia and a Lecturer at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu, Estonia. Her main research interests include critical security studies, political anthropology and European memory politics.

About the Series

New International Relations

The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism & Socialism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General