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Plurilinguisme et mondialisation - colloques

Europeanization and Globalization (Bordeaux, dec. 2010)

Last Updated: 25 Feb 2010
This conference purports to analyse the relationship between Europeanization and globalization. Europeanization will be understood as the convergence of approaches among European countries, within the framework of EU policies, whether this process reflects a positive support for integration, or de facto convergence. Globalization will be analyzed from different perspectives: as an objective phenomenon, a discourse, the establishment of norms and standards by international institutions or the epistemic community of experts, or a geo-political phenomenon implying  shifts in power relationships.
The relationship between globalization and europeanization is a complex one, ranging from open opposition to complementary approaches. In some cases, Europeanization can be considered as a regional version of globalization, and the implementation of international norms in Europe. In many European countries, the mere prospect of a distinctive European model is clearly rejected. In other cases, European rules and practices clearly run counter to globalization, and European identity is asserted, as an alternative to other models. Both Europeanization and globalization harbour internal contradictions and witness heated theoretical debates as well as open competition between national and social interest groups. Power issues – what type of Europeanization ? for whose benefit ? for what purpose ? - overlap geopolitical ones – Do we aim for a European framework or global one ? Such questions will be considered within several practical fields.

1. Immigration.

This question will be tackled in two ways. On the one hand, we expect papers putting the policies adopted in Europe towards asylum seekers in a global perspective, and comparing European policies, which seem to be rather restrictive, to international standards.
On the other hand, integration policies have converged to some extent within the EU. Europeanization seems to derive from two sources:
- a supranational one. Two directives were adopted  in 2000, leading to the creation of agencies designed to reduce discrimination, such as the Halde in France and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK.
- A more bilateral approach seems to be based on the transfer of public policies and “good practices” across borders.
We would like to assess the influence of globalization over  European integration policies, that of European policies and approaches on global debates on the subject, bearing in mind the global dimension of policy discussion within the English speaking world. The resilience of national models will also come under scrutiny.

2. Social Europe.

In the social field, europeanization is a very contradictory phenomenon. On the one hand, it has brought about neo liberal norms, which are usually linked to globalization, in terms of flexibility, mobility, standards of social protection. Some directives, such as the one on Services, were originally a European version of WTO policies. Conversely, some discourses or even policies, such as Directive 2002 14 on social dialogue, are based on International Labour Organization standards, and recommend a pluralistic approach taking into consideration the different interests of the “social partners”. In some cases, the contradictions cut through the European institutions themselves. The directive on posted workers, initially drafted in order to prevent social dumping,  has systematically been interpreted in ways contrary to the interests of Trade Unions by the European Court of Justice. The analysis of European social policy, and that of the individual member states, will tackle this contradiction.

3. Language policies.

In practice, globalization leads to the universal domination of English, in the fields of sciences, trade or politics. In Europe, reality hardly matches official discourse. Official commitment to linguistic diversity is not reflected even by institutional European practices, where English is systematically used.  Our goal is to understand the relationship between official policies, and the disappointing state of linguistic diversity. To what extent is Europeanization leading to Anglicization, in spite of the official  intentions, and why is it the case ?
4. Geo-politics.

In geopolitical terms, the relationship between europeanization and globalization questions the ultimate objective of European integration. This is compounded by the new, multipolar organization of power and the new challenges societies have to face (international terrorism, a-symmetrical conflicts, religious fanaticism, ecological catastrophes, health crises). Beyond this issue, appears the perspective of a  “Greater Europe”, and the question of boundaries.
The question of the relevant levels for public policy definition and implementation remains central. The role of Nation-states was reasserted during the last years. The slow pace of integration, frustration with the European democratic deficit and the lack of a coherent social policy, the rebirth of age old regional or global conflicts, the need for national responses to the economic crisis have all converged, and highlight the importance of old nation-sates. The function of regions varies widely from one country to another. Even if the myth of a “Europe of Regions” is less powerful than it was in the past, the building up of regional power is in some cases seen as a valid democratic ideal, and as one of the specific achievements of europeanization.
Two types of issues will be raised.
- How do ideas and public policies circulate between the global, European, national and regional levels ? To what extent do world standards impact “European good practices”? How do culture and geography combine, in the debate between europeanization and globalization ?
- What are the limits to the enlargement of the EU ? Where are the borders of Europe ? How far does this influence the European Neighbourhood Policy ? What is the geo political dimension of “European identity “ ?

The conference will be held in French and English. Abstracts are to be forwarded, by March 15th 1010,  to :
Jean – Paul Révauger
Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine
10 Esplanade des Antilles
33607 Pessac
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