The current crisis as a catalyst for a European public sphere?

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2 Antworten

  1. Ron sagt:

    Thanks for covering this!

    I just wanted add that I myself did not make a strong case that the recent changes will lead to a democraticisation as such, I only argued that the phenomena observed could indicate that (pre-)electoral discussions ahead of the 2014 EU vote could, unlike in 2009, actually turn around at least a limited set of topics that are common to all spheres.

    The concept behind the claim that there would the genesis of a European Public Sphere is implicitly based on the concepts of horizontal Europeanisation (national media covers what happens in other EU countries) and vertical Europeanisation (more coverage of EU-issues) as discussed by Brüggemann &
    Kleinen von Königslöw (2007)
    . Of the 4 dimenstion of Europeanisation of the public sphere proposed by Brüggemann et al. (2006) – „monitoring governance, mutual observation, discursive exchange, and collective identification“ – at least the first 3 can be found in the examples I put forward in my blog post.

    But I readily admit 🙂 that (a) these are just a few selective cases, (b) a fully-fledge European Public Sphere (whatever this is) still has way to go and (c) this does indeed not necessarily lead to democratisation, not least because awareness about common issues does not necessarily meets transnational or supranational democratic influence structures that can be used by all of us to react to those issues.

    • Nils Müller sagt:

      Thank you very much for your comment, Ron. I know it was not your point to emphasize the democatizing power of those public discussions but other people make this point quite often. The interesting thing is, that the four dimension you mention do not refer to the nature and the sentiment of the public discussion and the emergence of a European public sphere that is characterized by mutual animosities, fear and stereotypes can harm the European integration process as positive and constructive discussion can strengthen it.

      In his book „Das deutsche Europa“ Ulrich Beck distinguishes between the ‚logic of war‘ and the ‚logic of crisis‘; the former driven by fear of an other that one has to defend oneself from and the latter driven by the mutual understanding that something constitutes a common crisis that can only be solved cooperatively. While both could bring forward „mon­i­tor­ing gov­er­nance, mutual obser­va­tion, dis­cur­sive exchange“ they engender completely different integration dynamics.

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