BIGSSS alumnus Frank A. Stengel Receives EISA Best Dissertation Award › view all
“Discursive Change and Foreign Policy: A Discourse Analysis of Germany’s Changing Stance on the International Use of Force”
BIGSSS alumnus Frank A. Stengel has been awarded with the Best Dissertation Award of the European International Studies Association (EISA) for his dissertation “Discursive Change and Foreign Policy: A Discourse Analysis of Germany’s Changing Stance on the International Use of Force”.
The EISA Best Dissertation Award was introduced this year with the aim “to support excellent young scholars in the field of International Relations”.
The award will be presented at the 12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Prague on Sept 12-15, 2018.
“Discursive Change and Foreign Policy: A Discourse Analysis of Germany’s Changing Stance on the International Use of Force” explores the question of how military operations outside the NATO area (out-of-are operations) have become an established social practice in German policy circles. This is a puzzle due to (1) the persistence of antimilitarism among the public and (2) the limited utility of military operations as an instrument to tackle new security challenges like terrorism or mass migration – precisely those challenges out-of-area operations are intended to manage. Existing rationalist and conventional constructivist approaches fail to provide a convincing explanation for the development of the German “out of area consensus”, which can neither be understood as an adaptation to objectively changed circumstances nor as the result of linear norm change. Drawing on poststructuralist discourse theory as advanced by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, the dissertation analyses the discursive legitimation of out-of-area operations as an integral part of a much larger process: the dislocation of a security order (a dominant, established discourse) and its replacement by a different one. The book develops a theoretical framework to understand how discursive change works and demonstrates its analytical added value with a detailed discourse analysis of more than 25 years of German parliamentary debates.