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Decentering European Union Foreign Policy in the Mediterranean: Insights from Religious Engagement and Migration

6 hour course by Sarah Wolff (Queen Mary University of London)

  • Schedule: 3 & 4 July (14:00-17:00)
  • Venue: Blanquerna

Drawing from the decentering agenda in the study and practice of the EU as an actor of international relations, this course will address the gap between the centers and peripheries in the study of EU foreign policy towards the Mediterranean. Building upon postcolonial theories, the decentering agenda aims to reconstitute European agency through three main steps: provincialization, engagement and reconstruction. To illustrate the potential of this research agenda, the course will draw from two policy areas as case studies: religious engagement and migration. Drawing from her award-winning book (Secular Power Europe and Islam, MUP, 2021), Sarah Wolff will discuss the centrality of secularism as a narrative of EU external action and the ensuing constraints it creates for its engagement with the religious. The course will also introduce the importance of using a decentering agenda in the field of migration. This will enable the students to understand how to evolve from institutions to meanings produces, the construction of narratives and their relation to migration practices.

Sarah Wolff
Director of the Center for European Research at Queen Mary and the Director of the QMUL Master of Arts in International Relations at the University of London Institute in Paris

She is Principal Investigator for the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence NEXTEUK project on the future of EU-UK Relations. Senior Research Associate at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), her research interests include EU politics and public policy, non-majoritarian agencies, Justice and Home Affairs policy ( EU migration and border management policies), as well as EU external relations and EU development aid. She is an expert on EU-Islam relations, Euro-Mediterranean relations and is since 2017 Editor of Mediterranean Politics. She is co-convener of the ECPR Mediterranean Politics and Society Research Network since 2019 with F. Volpi. She is also a member of the advisory body to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tunisia at the UK Parliament. She has taught at University College of London, the London School of Economics, the University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe.