WP7 Policy Suggestions for articulation of a European Public Sphere

Lead:
HS (Bergen Univ.), GS (Trento Univ.)
Task Group :
See below

The final comparative study comprises five complementary research activities. The common objective of the analyses is to assess the prospects for a common European public sphere. In other words, these analyses will assess the implications of the above-mentioned results concerning attempts to unify the existing sub-European communicative public spaces as components of a common European public sphere.

WP7.1 Identifying Alignments and Misalignments between sub-European and European Spaces

Lead:
HS (Bergen Univ.)
Task Group:
WD (FMSH); GS (Trento University), BS (Aalborg University), GD (Granada University), MKB (Czech Academy)

Based on the uncovered characteristics of the sub-European communicative public spaces, the potential alignments and misalignments between these spaces (as represented by the social and political actors within them) and the potential five European public space models (cf. the five scenarios under “In the Realm of Ideas”) will be mapped. Misalignment is defined in terms of the discrepancy between the degree and areas of openness that a public sphere model requires and the actual degree and areas of openness that a sub-European public space allows. The measures for alignments and misalignments will be broken down also by the types of social and political actors operating in the sub-European public spaces. Seven EUROSPHERE-partners will be involved in these analyses. In this task group, Hakan Sicakkan will provide the measures of misalignments. Wanda Dressler, Giuseppe Sciortino, Günther Dietz, and Martina Klicperova-Baker will conduct the comparative analyses, aiming at identifying the different types of misalignments in different European national and sub-national contexts. Birthe Siim will provide inputs about the gender dimension. Hakan Sicakkan will provide a comparative report on the findings.

WP7.2 Identifying Areas of Contestation and Conflict in Articulating a Common Public Sphere

Lead:
UH (Aalborg Univ.)
Task Group:
RB (Austrian Academy), MB (Osnabück Univ.), GD (Granada Univ.), GS (Trento Univ.),WD (FMSH), VB (Amsterdam Univ.)

Historically, states’ and political elites’ attempts to establish certain forms of public sphere have been contested. Different groups and social and political actors have attempted to influence the shaping of public spheres in order to maximize their possibility of having adequate voice in the political system. Based on degrees of misalignments uncovered in the above analysis, the potential areas of such contestation and conflict between different social and political actors and the European institutions will be identified (cf. also the five models under “In the Realm of Ideas”). Seven EUROSPHERE-partners will be involved in these analyses. Ulf Hedetoft will provide the comparative-analytical frame. Rainer, Bauböck, Martina Klicperova-Baker, Günther Dietz, Giuseppe Sciortino, Wanda Dressler, and Veit Bader will conduct the analysis in collaboration. Ulf Hedetoft will provide a comparative report on the findings.

WP7.3 Analyses of Feasibility of Five Supranational Strategies

Lead:
MKB (Czech Academy)
Task Group:
RB (Austrian Academy), VB (Amsterdam University), (Sabanci University), ML (Estonian Institute), MS (Helsinki University), HS (Bergen University)

The five supranational strategies of focus in EUROSPHERE are closely related with the five European public sphere models (cf. the models scenarios under “In the Realm of Ideas”). These strategies are Functional Equivalence, Subsidiarity, Nesting, Differentiation, and Diversification. The project is designed in a way that makes it possible to assess additional national or supranational strategies in the course of project implementation, if the need arises. The aim here is to find how European and sub-European public spheres can be aligned.

The results from these four assessments regarding the prospects for a common European public sphere will be internationally published as a book. Furthermore, the outcomes of these analyses will also be disseminated and opened to discussion at the meetings of the EUROSPHERE Forum, which aims to bring together representatives of the European Commission, research and higher education institutions, policy makers, media, and other end users (i.e. different social and political actors studied in this project). Hakan Sicakkan, Veit Bader, and Rainer Bauböck will define and operationalize the five supranational strategies. Martina Klicperova-Baker will construct the feasibility analysis frame based on the guidelines of the EUROSPHERE-project. Ayse Öncü, Mikko Lagerspetz, and Matti Simila will conduct the feasibility analyses. Martina Klicperova-Baker and Hakan Sicakkan will provide a report synthesizing the findings.

WP7.4 Finalizing the EUROSPHERE Knowledge Base

Lead:
AA (Norwegian Social Science Data Service)
Task Group:
AB (Central European Univ.), VD (Université Libre), KWJ (Cardiff University), AGA (Sabanci University); YZ (Bulgarian Academy), BS (Aalborg Univ.), HS (Bergen Univ.)

The above activities will lead to the production of a qualitative-comparative database containing detailed information about the features of the sub-European public spaces and the social and political actors that these spaces accommodate. What the Consortium calls “EUOSPHERE Knowledge Base” comprises the database, its documentation and user-manuals, its webpresentation, and selected results from the data analyses to be conducted by the Consortium, which are presented in the following sections. Atle Alvheim (Norwegian Social Science Data Service) will lead the WP as well as provide the facilities for the creation of the physical database and data storage. The members of the task group will be responsible for the quality of data on different actors: Veronique Dimier (Université Libre) will quality-check the data on think tanks. Karin Wahl-Jørgensen (Cardiff University) will quality-check the media data. Ahmet Öncü (Sabanci University) will quality-check the data on social movements/citizens’ initiatives. Andras Bozoki (Central European University) will quality-check the data on political parties. Yolanda Zografova will quality-check the individual level data. Birthe Siim (Aalborg Univ.) and Ayse Gül Altinay (Sabanci Univ.) will quality-check the gender aspects of the data.

WP7.5 Synthesis of Findings

Lead:
HS (Bergen Univ.)
Task Group:
All partners

This workpackage will produce a conclusive study comprising a summary of the findings and policy recommendations of the project.

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