What is VISIONS?
A number of prominent EU representatives have warned that the European Union is under threat as a consequence of a completely new geopolitical situation, with an aggressive Russia to the east, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa to the south, as well as a Eurosceptic Donald Trump US administration on the other side of the Atlantic. Geopolitics has thus become a term of great currency and concern for EU leaders. VISIONS is a project which is designed to investigate the current rapidly changing geopolitical landscape of the EU and its near neighborhood and analyze its consequences.
VISIONS will pursue a dual research agenda. We will on the one hand map the different emerging perceptions and attitudes of geopolitics among the political elite in the EU and analyze the resulting practices of such worldviews (mobilizations of policies and resources). We will focus in particular on the current dynamics between the EU and its two principal geopolitical Others – Russia and the United States – in reference to the EU neighborhood (macro geopolitics). On the other hand we will research the visions and impact of the current changing geopolitical scenario on local populations or localities in the EU’s border areas (micro geopolitics). Here we will hone in on the sociopolitical effects of geopolitics, trying to establish under what circumstances shifting geopolitics are reproduced or reinterpreted in local power relations.
We are interested to know how geopolitics may contribute to the empowerment of determined social actors or, conversely, the disempowerment, marginalization or securitization of other social groups (e.g. women, migrants or ethno-linguistic minorities). Our expected results include a set of rich empirical case studies and a reconceptualization of geopolitics, which may serve both the EU and Spain as they rethink their current practices of how to respond to geopolitical risks and threats.