Recognition through dialogue: How transatlantic relations anchor the EU’s identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In spite of being criticised as ‘talking shops’ and easily replaced by technological innovations, dialogues – defined as face-to-face interactions in an institutionalised framework – remain a staple of international politics. While prevailing accounts have shown that dialogues help states advance their quest for security and profit, the key role dialogues play in the quest for recognition has been overlooked and remains undertheorised. Emphasising the socio-psychological need for ontological security, this article argues that institutions relentlessly engage in dialogues because it allows them to seek, gain and anchor the recognition of their identity. The significance for international relations is illustrated through the emblematic case of the European Union–US dialogues, specifically the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue. The multi-method qualitative analysis based on original interviews, participant observations, visuals and official documents demonstrates how the European Union exploits these dialogues with its ‘Significant Other’ to seek, gain and anchor the recognition of its complex institutional identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-120
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • European Union
  • dialogue
  • diplomacy
  • identity
  • parliament
  • recognition
  • transatlantic relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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