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Title: The European Union, state of exception and state transformation : Romania, Turkey and ethnic minority politics
Author: Mateescu, D.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2011
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The dissertation argues that the modern national sovereignty is the political expression of modern subjectivity and it dominates as such the contemporary discourse of human life, ethnic minorities included, in world politics. The analytical mechanism is grounded in social constructivist theorisations of discourse analysis. It evaluates whether and to what extent the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and its accession conditionality affect the discursive mechanisms of the national, sovereign subjectivity and its relations with national minorities. The cases studied here have been chosen because of the two states being inscribed in the recent past (Romania) and currently (Turkey) in the enlargement process. The dissertation builds methodologically on Agamben’s understanding of sovereignty as state of exception, interpreted here originally qua exception from the temporality of human life and therefore apt to author political time. In national form, this is understood as the production of the national time of politics, with a double ontological consequence: it constitutes the political nation, while concomitantly and inherently excluding non-national human life from political possibilities. The method of research develops this methodological perspective to analyse national sovereignty, drawing also on Heidegger, as factualisation of two purely theoretical constructs: the nation and the principle of sovereignty. The method therefore analyses national sovereignty in the process of constitution and producing its own presence as fact of human life through the engineering of time. The result of this engineering is the authorship/production of a historical and objective presence, the notion of ‘presence’ being borrowed from Derrida. The method allows for identifying specific elements in the dominant intellectual discourses in Romania and Turkey, which signal a subjective presence. This authors its historical presence in texts heavily employed in national education systems. It also legitimises the production of the nations’ objective presence, as formalised in legislation on citizenship and the official language of the respective states. The dissertation tests the hypothesis that the EU enlargement conditionality does affect the formal mechanisms producing the objective presence of national sovereignty, but leaves intact the mechanisms through which its historical presence continues to be fabricated. Consequently, the enlargement process does not affect the mechanisms of temporal engineering through which national sovereignties exclude ontologically the ethnic minorities from the time of the nation. The author claims that the dissertation contains strong elements of originality, starting from the methodological particularities and reflected in conclusions. It builds the analytical mechanism on the idea that sovereignty is inseparable from the subjectivity discoursing it, the onomastic terms of that discourse, and the relation established by the sovereign subjectivity with temporality in a given space. The result is the theorisation of sovereignty in relation with time. This is then employed in the original exploration of the Romanian and Turkish sovereignties in their historical becoming from the nineteenth century until the moment of writing. The appeal for the first time to a significant number of primary sources in this particular analytical context is also a strong element of originality. The method also allows for the original interpretation of minority politics as different from minority policies throughout the entire dissertation, which will lead in conclusions to valuable suggestions concerning much needed initiatives at the level of EU policy design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available