Europeanization : A critical realist,discursive institutionalist approach

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Grünhut, Zoltán
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In the field of European Studies once so popular new institutionalist approaches are struggling to compete with the theoretical innovations proposed by post-structuralist scholarships. These latter interpretations debate that ‘grand narratives’ are proper explanatory frameworks to understand different political, economic and social processes merged under the umbrella-notion of Europeanization, so they favor more agent-based conceptualizations. While New Institutionalism aims to reflect on this challenge through epistemological and methodological attempts, mostly by discursive manners, yet this paper –with respect to the achievements of new empirical set-ups and designs –argues that the ontological background should be addressed instead. For this goal the perspective of Critical Realism is crucial to note, and its suggestions about 1) multi-layered social reality, 2) meta-theory, and 3) interconnectedness of subjects and objects in social science are pillars to be considered. All of these potential contributions highlight that scholars need to be reflexive as they are existentially embedded into the deep structures and linkages of generative mechanisms that they are theorizing. The more stable the belief that certain ontological conceptualizations are grasping the observable facts and events in a reflective way, the less reflexive the given thinker to realize the need for out-of-the-box ideas and hypotheses.
europanizáció , intézmények , strukturalizmus , kritikai realizmus
On-Line Journal Modelling The New Europe 29:(April) pp. 4-24. (2019)