Paper long abstract:
European integration is as much a project of identity-construction and social engineering as it is a process geared to legal, economic and institutional regulation and harmonization. Yet while much attention has been paid to the Europeanization of the nation-state and national policy-making, less attention has been paid to dynamics of enculturation that operate inside the EUs own bureaucratic apparatus. How does an international organization like the European Commission (which is also a supranational institution) socialize those who work within its administrative? What kinds of new social fields, institutional cultures and organizational practices are developing within the Commissions internal administrative regime? This paper aims to examine these questions in three stages. First, I review current debates on EU socialization. Second, I draw on ethnographic accounts of the European Commissions organisational culture and everyday practices. Third, I set out an alternative theoretical framework for analysing these processes, one that draws on concepts of habitus, enculturation and subjectification.
The anthropology of international organizations