Identities and Vulnerabilities: The Ukraine Crisis and the Securitisation of the EU-Russia Gas Trade
European discourses increasingly frame EU-Russia gas trade as a security issue. The securitisation of the topic is particularly strong in East-Central European countries. The chapter applies realist and social constructivist theory to examine the securitisation of discourses. It argues that realist theory does not provide a satisfactory explanation because most of the alleged threats to EU energy security are constructed discursively and are not based on actual vulnerabilities. As a social constructivist approach suggests, identity plays an important role in this process. The Ukraine conflict has strengthened perceptions of Russia as a threatening Other, which were deeply rooted especially in the national identities of East-Central European countries. This has affected perceptions of energy trade too, which has thus become the subject of acrimonious political contestation.
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