- Simon Bulmer, Simon BulmerProfessor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- Owen Parker, Owen ParkerLecturer in European Politics, University of Sheffield
- Ian Bache, Ian BacheProfessor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- Stephen GeorgeStephen GeorgeEmeritus Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- and Charlotte BurnsCharlotte BurnsProfessor, University of Sheffield
This chapter examines the range of critical perspectives now applied to the European Union, including social constructivism, critical political economy, critical social theory, critical feminism, and post-structuralism. These critical—often termed ‘post-positivist’—approaches emphasize the constructed and changeable nature of the social and political world. Many such approaches reject the notion that social reality can be objectively observed and argue that various agents, including policy actors and scholars themselves, are involved in its construction. They highlight the less obvious manifestations of power that pervade the interrelated worlds of political action and political theorizing. It is important to consider why these more critical perspectives have been absent for so long within mainstream studies of the EU.