ECPR Panel: Reconstituting Democracy in the EU: The Role of Civil Society, Identity and the Public Sphere

WP 5 – Civil Society and the Public Sphere

WP 5 events

Reykjavik, 25-27 August 2011

Call for papers

Paper proposals are invited for a panel on ‘Reconstituting democracy in the EU: the role of civil society, identity and the public sphere’, organised by Zdenka Mansfeldova and Ulrike Liebert, member and co-leader of RECON’s WP 5, respectively. The panel is one of seven panels of a conference section on ‘Reconstituting Democracy in Europe’ at the 6th ECPR General Conference at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, 25-27 August 2011.

Deadline for paper proposals: 1 February 2011

For further details, please see the Reykjavik 2011 conference page.

Download ECPR guidelines for paper proposals (pdf) 


Panel abstract: Reconstituting Democracy in the EU: The Role of Civil Society, Identity and the Public Sphere

Panel chairs: Zdenka Mansfeldova (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

Panel chairs: Ulrike Liebert (CEuS, University of Bremen)

Discussant: Jürgen Neyer (European University Viadrina)

This panel focuses on the reconstitution of democracy in Europe from a citizens’ perspective. Contributions should highlight public contention over European integration as a normative project and the allocation of democracy. This may include comparative empirical as well as theoretically grounded research on the repercussions of European integration for democratic practices in the member states, highlighting the level of mass publics, organised civil society, parliamentary discourses, and collective identity constructions.

The general question explored across these different socio-political fields is whether these evolving practices indicate the transformation of democracy, how and in which direction. More specifically, the panel in a comparative perspective assesses divergence and convergence of old and new member states, for reviewing four processes: (1) rise of Euroscepticism, (2) new politics of European civil society; 3) Europeanisation of national parliamentary debates; (4) re-construction of national and European identities.


Section: Reconstituting Democracy in Europe

Section chair: Hans-Jörg Trenz (ARENA, University of Oslo)

The purpose of the section is to examine from a range of perspectives the possible need to (re-)conceive of democracy under conditions of pluralism, diversity and complex multilevel governance. In this sense the focus is on the emerging EU-polity and its interaction with national and regional/local levels of government. The section thus invites theoretical and substantive contributions that respond to current trends and challenges in the transformation of democracy in Europe.