International Relations Research News

This October the International Relations Department is launching a Politics & IR Research Seminar Series, which provides a platform for WVPU's IR faculty and invited academic guests to discuss new scholarly output.

The format is as follows: 45 minutes presentation followed by a 30-45 minute Q&A session.

The initiator of the series was the first to present his current research on October 3rd; Prof. Jozef Bátora (WVPU) spoke about a paper he is currently working on in collaboration with Dr. Pavol Baboš (Comenius University) titled Making Sense of the European Union: Mapping ‘Thought Communities’ in Six EU Member States.


How do Europeans make sense of the European Union (EU) and its processes of integration? We suggest that a useful approach to studying sensemaking in the EU is using ‘relational class analysis’ (RCA) to map out ‘thought communities’ (see Goldberg 2011). To do this, we develop an analytical framework and apply it to analyze survey data from a representative sample of citizens from six EU member states – Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia (N=4249). There are two main sets of findings. First, we show that there are several identifiable thought communities in each of the surveyed member states. We label them ‘ideologues’, ‘pragmatists’ and ‘communitarians’. This indicates that there exist transnational cognitive foundations of the EU as a political order in and across European societies. Second, we show that there are no identifiable socio-demographic predictors of citizens’ belonging to ‘thought communities’.

Unless indicated otherwise, the Research Seminars will be held on Wednesdays, 14.00-15.30 in room 0.16. As space is limited, please register at irdepartment[at]