A Multi-Disciplinary Study on the European Union and the Pacific Region Relations: Discursive Representations of Identity and Power
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This doctoral research is a multi-disciplinary study which draws from discourse theory, linguistics and European Union studies. It aims to explore the meaning, and linguistic representations of the European Union (EU) in the context of its relations with the Pacific Region, while taking into account contributing ideological and political factors. This study contributes to several academic fields, and specifically to the practice of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and to the continuum of study on the linguistics-politics interface. CDA research observes the structure and function of signifiers. Discourse analysis provides means to critically observe elements of social and political power, identities and issues through both contextual and linguistic features of discourse. It offers a unique approach to analysing international relations with the application of tools that can decipher meaning and ideologies in discursive structures. This approach stems for the post-structural outlook that linguistic features reflect ideologies and power relations that condition interpretation of political and social issues. Through a critical observation, the role and influence of the EU in the Pacific region is examined and evaluated. A wider grouping of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is relevant to the discussion of the EU’s development action and French territories are also taken into account as they are located in the Pacific region and have aspirations to become more integrated to the Pacific community. This study reveals how the EU is defined and how the EU influences the developing world. It also reveals how the Pacific countries are responding to the EU’s interests and values such as regional integration and trade liberalisation. The discourse formation of EU-Pacific relations articulates and reinforces ideologies of identity and power behind the entirety of EU-Pacific relations. The nature of EU identity and role in relation to an ‘Other’ is thus explored in this thesis.