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Title Evolutions in Transnational Authority: Practices of Risk and Data in European Disaster and Security Governance
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Date Accessioned
University/Publisher University of Ottawa
Abstract The scholarly field of International Relations (IR) has been slow to appreciate the evolutions in forms of governance authority currently seen in the European political system. Michael Barnett has insisted that ‘IR scholars also have had to confront the possibility that territoriality, authority, and the state might be bundled in different ways in present-day Europe’ (2001, 52). This thesis outlines how modern governing authority is generated and maintained in a Europe that is strongly impacted by the many institutions, departments, and agencies of the European Union (EU). Using the specific cases of the EU’s disaster response organisation, the DG for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), and the hub for EU internal security policy management, the DG for Home and Migration Affairs (HOME), this thesis understands the different policy areas under EU policymaker and bureaucrat jurisdictions as semi-autonomous fields of practice – fields that are largely confined to the groups of bureaucratic, diplomatic, corporate, NGO, contracted, and IO that exist in Brussels, decidedly removed from in-field or operational personnel. Transnational governance authority in Europe, at least in these two fields, is generated and maintained by actors recognised as highly expert in producing and using data to monitor for the risks of future disasters and entrenching that ability into central functional roles in their respective fields. Both ECHO and HOME actors came to be recognised as central authorities in their fields thanks to their ability to prepare for unknown future natural and manmade disasters by creating and collecting and managing data on them and then using this data to articulate possible future scenarios as risks. They use the resources at their disposal to generate and manage data about disaster and security monitoring and coordination, drawing on these resources to impress upon the other actors in their fields that cooperating with ECHO and HOME is the best way to minimise the risks posted by future disasters. In doing so, both sets of actors established the parameters by which other actors understood their own best practices: through the use of data to monitor for future scenarios and establish criteria upon which to justify policy decisions. The specific way ECHO and HOME actors were able to position themselves as primary or central figures, namely, by using centralised data management, demonstrates the role that risk practices play in generating and maintaining authority in complex institutional governance situations as currently seen in Europe.
Subjects/Keywords EU; International Relations; Authority; International Institutions; Governance; Risk; Bourdieu; International Organizations; Disaster Response; Internal Security
Language en
Country of Publication ca
Record ID handle:10393/35121
Repository ottawa
Date Indexed 2018-01-03
Issued Date 2016-01-01 00:00:00

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International Relations (IR) approaches to authority in the EU that often suffer from three limitations: an assumption that authority merely exists separate from the processes of its own generation; a misunderstanding of the daily workings of EU…

…but is careful to both remain rooted firmly in International Relations – in particular security studies and global governance literatures – and frame the project within debates that are central to European Integration literature. The field of EU…

…however. Evolutions in EU authority have received relatively little serious analysis within the field of International Relations in particular. IR has often had trouble accounting for the source and exercise of political authority by the EU other than by…

…EDRIS – European Disaster Response Information System EEAS – European External Action Service EEC – European Economic Community EFAS – European Flood Awareness System EFFIS – European Forest Fire Information System EM-DAT – An International Disaster…

…IR analyses treat the EU as either an international organisation, a state-like actor, or some form of hybrid governance, and as a result cannot adequately address the genesis of the EU’s ongoing authority in light of its encroachments on the will of…

…govern daily life in Europe. The EU is a collection of different national and international actors, representing governments, bureaucracies, agencies, international organisations, NGOs, and private corporations. These actors are governed according to…

…the EU a collection of specific sets of institutional actors in international politics. When taking seriously the complexity of the EU, as well as the specific way it brings together actors of different types and scales to be part of the decision…

…inspiration from more sociological accounts of authority and the state in international politics to do just that. This entails clearly drawing on Weberian conceptions of authority and state governance, as embodied in everyday institutions. The project takes up…

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