Theoretical Framework

Work package 1


WP coordinator

Erik O. Eriksen, ARENA, University of Oslo

The nation state has been the institutional mainstay of modern democracy. Today, this particular political form is challenged and may be transcended by something new. Can the state form as such be rescued in Europe, and if so, at what level? Are alternative forms more viable? WP 1 sets out RECON’s theoretical framework and develops indicators to test three different models for reconstituting democracy in Europe: 

  • Can democracy in Europe be reconstituted at the national level, with a concomitant reframing of the EU as a functional regulatory regime?
  • Can democracy be reconstituted through establishing the EU as a federal state based on a collective identity?
  • Can democracy in Europe be reconstituted through developing a post-national Union with an explicit cosmopolitan imprint?
WP 1 leads the work of operationalising each of the three models, establishing indicators and linking them to the particular analytical challenges raised in the policy fields and issue areas addressed by RECON. The WP ensures overall coherence and integration of the project and develops an overarching theoretical approach to the study of European democracy.
More details on the research objectives of WP 1.


Publications and findings from WP 1

Research from the project is published in academic journals and books, as well as in RECON’s publication series (reports and online working papers). A complete list of publications and presentations from WP 1 is available for each year of the project.

This research group organises a number of workshops and conferences, as well as panels at international conferences. Complete list of WP 1 events.

WP 1 cooperates with the Cluster of Excellence ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.  

RECON participants WP 1 (core group)

ARENA, University of Oslo
Erik O. Eriksen (coordinator),
John Erik Fossum, Daniel Gaus, Cathrine Holst, Espen D. H. Olsen

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt
Rainer Forst, Heike List
Rainer Schmalz-Bruns (University of Hannover)


Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

Erik O. Eriksen (WP 1), ARENA, University of Oslo

Ben Crum (WP 2), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

John Erik Fossum (WP 2 and WP 9), ARENA, University of Oslo

Chris Lord (WP 3), ARENA, University of Oslo

Yvonne Galligan (WP 4), Queen’s University Belfast

Ulrike Liebert (WP 5), University of Bremen

Hans-Jörg Trenz (WP 5), ARENA, University of Oslo

Helene Sjursen (WP 6), ARENA, University of Oslo

Wolfgang Wagner (WP 6), Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

Agustín José Menéndez (WP 7), University of León

Zdzislaw Mach (WP 8), Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Christian Joerges (WP 9), University of Bremen


Consortium meetings

Project management structure