Sharon Lecocq Stephan Keukeleire



This article proposes a decentring approach for EU External Action Studies as a debate that is ‘disrupting’ the mainstream in European Studies. It theoretically contributes to the decentring debate in three ways. First, by identifying decentring as a meta-theoretical current of thinking, the article helps define the decentring debate as an area of theorising which can accommodate scholars from various backgrounds and bring them together around a common commitment to overcome Euro- and Western centrism in scholarship (and practice). Second, the article states the wider relevance of taking a decentring approach, which entails normative and instrumental benefits for scholarship, teaching and practice. By doing so, the article underscores the ethical imperative of disrupting a field of study on the one hand, but also the usefulness and even the necessity of disruption as a problem-solving approach to the benefit of a field’s mainstream centre on the other. Third, the article shows how the decentring debate accommodates both critical and problem-solving theorising, and proposes potential theoretical anchors in existing bodies of work. Finally, it discusses the inherent paradox that follows from critical and problem-solving approaches to decentring specifically and disruptive theorising more broadly.


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