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Working paper

Кризис в отношениях России и ЕС: между «суверенитетом» и «европеизацией»

The paper explores the discursive foundations of the current crisis in EU-Russia relations. The problem lies in contrasting readings of sovereignty in Brussels and in Moscow. The Kremlin is bent on Westphalian readings of stateness, promoting visions of a “sovereign democracy”, and a strategy of bureaucratic centralization. Meanwhile, the EU pursues a strategy of Europeanization, seeking to transform nations and spaces along its perimeter to its own image and liking. In deconstructing “Europeanization”, the paper challenges conventional readings of the EU as a postmodern actor, and argues that the EU’s external policy has embarked upon an essentially modern strategy of “bureaucratic imperialism”, rooted in traditional readings of Westernness as goodness. The collision of two modernist projects, Moscow’s bureaucratic centralization and Brussels’ “bureaucratic imperialism,” is a key structural impediment in EU-Russia relations.