‘Knowledge Broker’ – The Agency of Local and Transnational Advocacy Networks in the Process of Europeanization
The dissertation is concerned with the role of advocacy networks in the process of Europeanization beyond Europe. Case study is the Republic of Moldova. Europeanization is understood as the process of changing domestic opportunity structures aiming at transferring norms from one political setting to another. Means to do so are the transfer of knowledge, material and social capital.
The dissertation draws upon concepts of advocacy networks, network theory and practice theory. The aim is to combine those three strands into a coherent methodological and analytical approach towards the study of Europeanization. Following this approach, the dissertation does not examine how advocacy networks contribute to a transfer of taken for granted norms, but it is interested in what these organizations, individuals or movements – we may call them ‘Europeanization performer’ – are and what the their agency is in shaping the process of norm transfer.
The research strategy comprises two steps: First, building and analysing an original dataset on transnational funding and advocacy networks. Second, qualitatively examining professional practices of donors and beneficiaries on the basis of findings from the dataset. Third, assess how advocacy and funding strucures shape the process of Europeanization. Methods of data collection are fieldwork, document analysis and interviews.
The study of the Europeanization beyond the EU’s borders is dominated by the dyad of rational-institutionalist and social-constructivist approaches developed in the late 1990s. This widespread approach has been criticised in many ways. Critics contend that it is EU-centred, overemphasises an inside-out perspective on norm-transfer, and pays little attention to the role of domestic power structures in which domestic change occurs.
Theoretical approaches beyond rational-institutionalism and social-constructivism are underdeveloped in the study of Europeanization beyond Europe. The dissertation draws upon a sociological approach to epistemic communities, network theory and practice theory. The aim is to combine those three strands into a coherent methodological and analytical approach towards the study of Europeanization. Such a methodological perspective allows transcending the long-standing dichotomy between the logic of consequence and the logic of appropriateness in Europeanization research. It also brings local power structures to the fore by moving away from the traditional inside-out perspective.
The empirical contribution of the dissertation is threefold: First, a detailed description of the EU’s and other international donors’ instruments which aim at changing the domestic opportunity structures in Moldova. This includes not only the description of the instruments, but a detailed unpacking of procedures and practices that are not captured by publicly available documents. Second, a detailed description of Moldova’s domestic politics with a special attention to the evolution of civil society sector in the post-communist period. Third, a dataset quantifying the relations between external donors and transnational and local CSOs will be developed. This dataset will be not only relevant for further research projects; it may also be enlarged by data from other countries of the region or data including governmental actors.
|11/2016 – 09/2017||Université de Genève, Switzerland|
|10/2017 – 08/2018||Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium|
|09/2018 – 09/2019||Université de Genève, Switzerland|
Academic Positions and grants
|11/2016 – present||Marie Curie Doctoral Fellow, GEM-STONES PhD school|
|10/2017 – present||Visiting Researcher at the Union of International Associations (www.uia.org)|
|2015 – present||Editoral assistant of the Review of Central and East European Law (RCEEL)|
|2014 – 2015||PENTA Join EU-SEE grant, 10 month mobility at the University of Belgrade, Serbia|
|2016 – present||PhD in International Relations and EU-Studies, Université de Genève and Université Libre de Bruxelles|
|2013 – 2016||Joint Master’s Degree in in South-Eastern European Studies (M.A.), University of Graz and University of Belgrade|
|2008 – 2012||B.A. in Political Science and Communications Science, LMU Munich|
- East-European politics
- European Neighbourhood Policy
- Europeanization and norm transfer
- Political Sociology
- Discourse Analysis
- Data-mining and network analysis
- Wolfschwenger, Johann and Kevin L. Young. 2019 (forthcoming). Multi-causality and equifinality. in: Morin, Jean-Frédéric, Christian Olsson and Ece Özlem Atikcan (eds). Key Concepts in Research Methods. Oxford: Routledge.
- Wolfschwenger, Johann. 2017. The EU Governance Approach to the Transnistrian Conflict: A Powerful Tool for Conflict Management? in: Bellak, Blanka, Jaba Devdariani, Benedikt Harzl and Lara Spieker (eds). Governance in Conflict. Selected Cases in Europe and Beyond. Vienna: Lit-Verlag.
POLICy and working papers
- Wolfschwenger, Johann. 2018. Georgia in European Discourses: An Austrian Perspective. Policy Memo No. 27. Georgian Institute of Politics. May 2018. online <http://gip.ge/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Policy-Memo-27.pdf>.
- Wolfschwenger, Johann. 2014. The Russian Dimension in the Transnistrian Conflict – Possibilities for Conflict Resolution. Public Policy Research Paper No. 4. REEES Graz. online <http://unipub.uni-graz.at/reees/periodical/titleinfo/301654>.
- Wolfschwenger, Johann. 2018. Book Review: Theorizing the European Neighbourhood Policy. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 18(4). 599-600.
- Matrakova, Marta and Johann Wolfschwenger. 2018. Book Review: Assessing European Neighbourhood Policy. East European Politics 34(2). 241-242.
- Wolfschwenger, Johann. „Gut gemeint aber schlecht gemacht!“ – Die Östliche Partnerschaft der EU und ihre unbeabsichtigten Konsequenzen. CPD Policy Blog. 7 November 2017. online <https://policyblog.uni-graz.at/2017/12/ostliche-partnerschaft-unbeabsichtigten-konsequenzen>.