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The ‘State of the Art’ in EU Studies: From Politics to Interdisciplinarity (and Back Again?)



This article explores the disciplinary (political) and interdisciplinary characteristics of the field of EU studies from a UK perspective. It makes the claim that, although EU studies has been dominated by political/IR approaches, it has not been well integrated into the discipline of politics. However, one cannot assume that this is because EU studies is an interdisciplinary research area. Retaining, at least in the UK, much of its original ‘area studies’ character, which has built upon the UK academic culture of empiricism, EU studies remains somewhat inward looking. The article argues that addressing this problem by strengthening EU studies’ ties to the discipline may not be helpful if the aim is to create a more outward-looking research field. Rather, interdisciplinarity, or even a post-disciplinary approach, may be a preferable way forward.