In this WP, we would seek to add to the complex perspective on collective violence proposed in this project as well as to the existing literature on security communities by a study of the dynamics of change in established security communitiescharacterised by sufficient density and intensity of interactions generative of a deep sense of community and a set of social practices and institutions. Emergent or ‘nascent’ security communities continue to receive considerable attention. In contrast, established security communities have been not yet been submitted to a robust empirical study which in this case would benefit from developing a comprehensive model of change positing constitutive relations of the Grundnormof the security community (resolution of social conflict by peaceful means) and social practices that do and undo security communities (Pouliot 2008; Adler and Pouliot 2011); material institutional mechanisms; variation in the dynamic density of transactions; evolution in norms effected by conflict between norm leaders and challengers (Finnemore and Sikkink 1998; McKeown 2009); and finally, transformation in knowledge formations that structurally reinforce or contest shared social meanings, with the particular focus on the cultural production of (in)security.

In particular, this model would be mobilised for the purpose of a detailed study of a single case, here termed EU+ (comprising ES/EU member states and other closely associated European countries) in order to trace how memories of the collective violence of the past (the “never again” related to the historical construction of the WWII and the related atrocities in the intersubjectively produced memory) are used to stabilise, but alsodestabilise the EU+ security community, notably in times of crisis, and propel its further integration; and how the currently securitised modalities of collective violence also (terrorism) display highly ambiguous effects on its stability.

The EU+ may be considered a paradigmatic security community case (for previous explorations, see Wæver 1998; Buzan and Waever 2003; Lavenex 2004; Adler and Greve 2009). However, unlike in the previous investigations it would here be considered as a continually reproduced outcome of a dynamic social process with critical junctures that is rendered not immortalised but contingent and whose future evolution is envisioned as including the possibility of ultimate disintegration; without, however, succumbing to superficial apocalyptics but rather using an advanced social sciences toolbox.

 

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