2023/ 2024

Wolfgang Minatti

Mobility Phases: WZB, Global Governance Unit, Berlin | European Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin

From Stability to Uncertainty: “Zeitenwende” and the Delegitimation of European Security Governance

Wolfgang Minatti is a PhD Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy and is affiliated with the Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS in Berlin, Germany, and the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. His research focuses on the legitimation of governance in international politics with a particular focus on violent non-state actors in civil wars. Furthermore, he works on fieldwork methodology and the ethics of conducting qualitative research. Wolfgang conducted extensive fieldwork in Colombia where he worked with rebel ex-combatants and rural peasants. In his re:constitution fellowship project, Wolfgang investigates the (de-)legitimation of European security governance in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.


From Stability to Uncertainty: “Zeitenwende” and the Delegitimation of European Security Governance

Inter-state war is back to Europe. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shaken many governance norms in Europe with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz calling the moment a “Zeitenwende”. But even recently, many analysts argued that a Russian aggression was unlikely due to the strong security norms established in Europe over the previous decades. What does this mean for European security governance and how can we explain the processes transforming it?

To explain this transformation, the project theorises the recent contestations of European security governance as shaped by (de-)legitimation processes: States advance various justificatory discourses to claim as righteous different expectations of the continent's security governance. By supporting or contesting these justificatory discourses, they (de-)legitimise the norms European security governance is built on and make new security policies justifiable. Drawing on discourse network analysis, the (de-)legitimation of territorial sovereignty and the ius ad bellum among actors such as the European Union, the US, Russia and Germany is examined.

The project provides tools to analyse how conflict dynamics within Europe in the last decade are interwoven with the (de-)legitimation of international rule of law on the European continent and considers pathways for sustainable solutions to create stable security structures.