Michael joined the Department of European and International Studies in February 2022. His research focuses on how the myth of exceptionalism has been used by supranational EU elites to legitimise the EU in times of ‘crisis’.
Michael holds a BA in Politics and International Relations (2020), and an MA in Public Policy (2021) from the University of Warwick.
- European integration
- EU foreign policy
- Political myths & narratives
- Post-structuralist discourse theory
- Legitimation of the EU in moments of ‘crisis’
My research looks at how the myth of exceptionalism has been used by supranational EU elites to legitimise the EU in times of ‘crisis’. My work uses post-structuralist discourse theory (PDT), drawing from the Essex School of Discourse Analysis, to conduct a discourse analysis of supranational EU elites during three moments of ‘crisis’: the Eurozone crisis, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Russian War in Ukraine. As such, this project seeks to demonstrate that supranational EU elites have been able to continually adapt and draw from different aspects of the EU’s myth of exceptionalism in order to provide meaning to the various ‘crises’. It is through this successive establishment of meaning that EU elites are able to legitimise not only the EU’s response to the ‘crises’, but also the European project as a whole. In doing so, this study will develop an original conceptualisation of the 'myth of EU-ropean exceptionalism’, and will seek to emphasise that the myth of exceptionalism is one of the most powerful myths in world politics.
Dr Russell Foster and Dr Benedetta Voltolini
5AAOB201: The Integration of the European Union