1st Edition

The Politics of Becoming European A study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War security imaginaries

By Maria Mälksoo Copyright 2010
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.

    '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.