The political system of the EU and its member states is frequently seen as postWestphalian within constructivist-inspired research. This is based on the view that political authority and legitimacy are to be found both at the EU level and the national level with no clear borders between them. The question raised in this article is how the member states conceive of themselves as foreign policy actors in this situation where they are both politically embedded in EU foreign policy structures and, in most cases, formally able to act outside the EU structures in the field of foreign policy. The overall argument is that a pertinent answer to this question can be provided by looking at how (or whether) state identity is articulated in relation to the EU. The paper first presents theoretical considerations relating to discursive articulations of state identity in an EU context. The relevance of these discursive articulations is then illustrated through the empirical example of Danish articulations of actorness prior to and post Lisbon. It is shown that the articulation of national actorness in relation to the EU varied across the different areas of foreign policy before and after Lisbon. A research agenda that flows from these considerations is outlined.
Cooperation and Conflict, 2014, Vol 49, Issue 3, p. 368-385