Research – University of Copenhagen

EuroChallenge > Research

EuroChallenge Research and Work Packages

The Context

EuroChallenge was a major research project that addressed the place of Europe in the context of a rapidly and radically changing global order. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the project examined the intersection of a changing global configuration on the one hand and still unresolved tensions of European integration on the other across the market, politico-legal and socio-cultural domains.

These three overlapping and inter-related European forms of order represent the key forms of post-war supranational integration. They each represent solutions to the dilemma of how to organise European space and on what principles in a globalising world. Yet domain contains unresolved and on-going tensions. As the world supposedly moves into a crisis-riven and uncertain phase beyond ‘globalisation’, so each of the three domains faces key challenges to the delicate European compromises of the past half century: between respectively market and social cohesion, supranational governance/law and democracy, and cosmopolitan diversity and the value of national communitarian purpose.

The challenges are not just about whether Europe can find its footing as a competitive growth pole in the changing global economic landscape, important though that is. It is also about whether Europe will continue to be a legal, regulatory and normative standard-setter for the world as a whole. By standard-setter is meant much more than the capacity of Europe to maintain its position as leading supplier of regulatory tools for a liberal economic order. It also implies something much broader, namely the extent to which the European intellectual and policy discourses that have shaped and continue to shape modern market and democratic societies can be sustained in new and challenging conditions.

Guiding Research Questions

EuroChallenge was guided by four overarching research questions, which are profoundly important intellectual questions as well as tangible political and social problems:

  1. What is the scale of the challenges posed to Europe by the shifting global configuration?
  2. In what ways, to what extent and with what political, legal and social effects are European policy-makers and citizens conceptualising the shifting global configuration and its concomitant challenges?
  3. How effectively, given the scale of the EU’s own crisis, can Europe’s collective institutions manage the intra-European effects of this new global configuration?
  4. To what extent, in part by redefining and reframing its unresolved internal challenges, is the EU showing itself as a global agenda-setter?

An Interdisciplinary Approach

The EuroChallenge project worked from the assumption that thoroughgoing intellectual engagement with Europe’s role in the face of new global challenges requires not only the insights provided by several disciplines, but also active dialogue between them.

Work Packages

EuroChallenge was organised into three work packages so as to reflect the three interconnected domains or spaces within which European integration had been most profoundly influential and important: the market domain (WP1), the politico-legal domain (WP2), and the socio-cultural domain (WP3). For more information on each work package please click the links below.

Work package IThe European Market Space and the New Global Economy: Constructions, Paradigms and Policies

This work package focused on the ways in which policy elites in Europe, conceptualise the new global order, the extent to which neoliberalism sits at the heart of European economic policy calculus and how, if at all supranational economic policy designs in the new global order are moving beyond the well-established EU regulatory mode of governance.

Work package II: The European Legal-Politico Space in a New Global Order? The Global Challenges to European Markets, Human Rights and Constitutionalized Democracy

This work package asked questions about the viability of Europe’s role as a producer of ‘universals’ in the realms of market regulation, human rights norms and models of constitutional democracy. It examined the degree to which developing societies are adopting or neglecting European models of politico-legal space.

Work package III: Complex Diversity: the Social and Cultural Interpretations of Changing European and Global Order

This work package dealt with the challenges to European socio-political space of the changing global order. It examined both societal responses to the global crisis and changing citizens’ allegiances and loyalties in light of the macroeconomic and politico-legal shifts.