From "Normative Power" to "Global Governmentality": An Assessment of European Union's Engagement of Civil Society in Indonesia

Ahmad Rizky Mardhatillah Umar(1*)

(1) Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


This article develops a theory of European power as ‘governmentality’, with a particular reference to European Union (EU)’s engagement of civil society in Indonesia through a package of “civil society strengthening programs”. In contrast to some arguments of ‘normative power’ or ‘civilian power’ in the European Union, that put emphasis on EU’s normative framework in explaining EU’s diplomatic engagements in world politics, this article argues that European Union’s global outreach is best seen as the politics of governmentality, which comprises the spread of norms to the “global south” through various developmental strategies in order to form particular subjectivities based on European Union’s “normative framework”. This argument will be applied to empirically explain the role of EU’s engagement of civil society in Indonesia. To substantiate the argument, this article will analyse (1) the debate on recent theorisation of “European power” in EU and International Relations studies, with a reference to Ian Manners’ conception of “Normative Power Europe”; (2) the snapshot of European Union’s key policies on International Development Assistance in Indonesia; and (3) the case of some projects related to “civil society strengthening programs” in Indonesia.


European Union; civil society; international development; democracy promotion; normative power; global governmentality

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