Europe Today Lecture Series: The EU as a Threat-Responsive Security State (Updated Title)

4:00 pm
Event Status
As Scheduled
Kaija E. Schilde

Kaija E. Schilde
Jean Monnet Chair of European Security
Associate Professor, Pardee School of Global Studies
Director, Center for the Study of Europe
Project on the Political Economy of Security
Pardee School Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking

The EU is a non-unitary security state of international significance and is threat responsive to challenges to its interests. It has become a security state through a combination of incremental institutional layering and shifts in international threat, primarily the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine, and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The security studies debate on European strategic autonomy has so far ignored and dismissed the infrastructural power of the EU. The EU’s infrastructural power comes from regulatory, monetary and market instruments, and a nascent but increasing direct procurement of military materiel. EU infrastructural power complicates EU-related state formation theory debates. Traditional security states extract resources from their society, directly tax their populations, and have formal authority to generate military capability. Historically, the EU has done none of these things. Scholars using the conventional lens of state security authority have concluded that the EU is not yet a security state, because it does not tax and spend to generate military capacity on its own (Kelemen & McNamara, 2022). However, this misdiagnoses the sources of infrastructural security power in the 21st century, and only compares the political development of the EU to the generation of military power in earlier centuries. Moreover, this position fails to consider the comparative: how do contemporary non-EU states generate military capacity? To what are we comparing EU state formation? I theorize a broader definition of security state to align with 21st Century generation of military power and evaluates the shifts in EU infrastructural power in light of changes.

Prior Title: EU Defense Cooperation and the War in Ukraine

Virtual event
Event Type
Lecture Series / Brown Bag
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