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Normative Power Europe as an Ingroup Projection? The EU’s Response to the Arab Uprising

Department of Economics and Business, Mediterranean Research Center on Economics and Sustainable Development (CIMEDES), 04120 Almería, Spain
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Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(5), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050082
Received: 20 March 2020 / Revised: 25 April 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
This paper aims to understand the social-psychological dimension of the Normative Power Europe discourse using ingroup projection as a discursive/cognitive practice of othering. It takes issue with most poststructuralist studies that conduct analyses of Normative Power Europe based on the dependence of identity on difference through the discursive tendency to construct reality by opposites. Ingroup projection is based both on the need for differentiation to obtain positive distinctiveness and on the natural tendency for categorization processes by which groups share a common higher-order category. In this way, groups tend to project (ingroup projection) their traits and distinctive values onto this higher-order category to legitimate intergroup status differences. The EU’s response to the Arab uprisings serves as an empirical test for this argument, insofar as the uprisings implied a cognitive change of the EU’s “other” in the construction of the Mediterranean. Through ingroup projection, the EU (ingroup) differentiates itself from this new Arab Mediterranean other (outgroup) and projects EU’s idealized identity onto the Mediterranean region (higher-order category) to legitimate its new policies after the uprising. View Full-Text
Keywords: Normative Power Europe; ingroup projection; discourse analysis; Arab uprising; Mediterranean region; social psychology; foreign policy Normative Power Europe; ingroup projection; discourse analysis; Arab uprising; Mediterranean region; social psychology; foreign policy
MDPI and ACS Style

Tapia-León, J.J.; Galdeano-Gómez, E. Normative Power Europe as an Ingroup Projection? The EU’s Response to the Arab Uprising. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 82.

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