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A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 1 Lecture 2 Lecturer Paul Blokker.

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Presentation on theme: "A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 1 Lecture 2 Lecturer Paul Blokker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Political Sociology of European Democracy

2 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 1 Lecture 2 Lecturer Paul Blokker

3 3 Introduction Governo Locale Announcement: Examination -The student will be evaluated at the end of the course by means of a written essay, to be handed in at the end (exact date will be stipulated); -The written essay will be of a minimum of words, and needs to contain a bibliography with at least 10 academic resources.

4 4 EU and democracy: summing up –The relation between the European project and democracy is not clear-cut; –It depends on our perception of what we think the EU ought to look like; –But what seems to be clear is that it is not a question of either restoration or transposition, improbable recombinations (Rosanvallon 2006); Introduction Governo Locale

5 5 EU and democracy: summing up 1.Restoration: The idea of restoring at the European level a democracy of the type that existed on the national level, with overlapping political community, sovereign state, and democratic order. Introduction Governo Locale

6 6 EU and democracy: summing up 2.Transposition: In this case, the attempt is similarly to transpose to the European level institutions of a representative, democratic kind. This is supposedly necessary because the framework of exercise of national democracy is dysfunctioning (e.g. Habermas idea of post- national democracy). Introduction Governo Locale

7 7 EU and democracy: summing up 3.Improbable combinations: According to Rosanvallon, an emergence of a new form of civil society that could substitute for the world of politics is unlikely to succeed. Sometimes this idea is put under the banner of governance, when its emancipatory potentials are stressed. Introduction Governo Locale

8 8 EU and democracy: summing up -Many questions remain open for now: - what will happen to forms of social solidarity? - what will happen to forms of national belonging and commonality? - what will happen to forms of political community and citizenship? Introduction Governo Locale

9 9 Introduction Governo Locale (Political) sociology and the EU

10 10 Introduction Governo Locale

11 11 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -political sociology is the study of relationships between state, society, and the individual; -the point is to begin from a different starting point and view the process of integration not as natural or inevitable but to view it as one process, albeit a very important one, occurring within the EU alongside other processes which may run counter to it or exist largely beyond the control of the EU (2002: 4) Introduction Governo Locale

12 12 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -A key element of a political sociology of the European Union then, is that it questions the dominant nature of integration, as currently understood, and questions the extent to which the EU controls and shapes all of the processes taking place within its sphere of influence (2002: 4); Introduction Governo Locale

13 13 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -The development of the EU and the advent of pan-European structures of governance cause us to reconsider the whole idea of society, and invite us to consider the structure and organization of social and political life in a globalized world where transnational flows and linkages are becoming ever more important. (2002: 7); Introduction Governo Locale

14 14 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -a sociological inquiry of European integration recasts the relationship between the individual, society, and state to take into account new levels of state power, the existence of societies beyond states, and a reordering of the role and responsibilities of the individual. (2002: 7); Introduction Governo Locale

15 15 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -If the EU is not a nation-state writ large then neither can European society be simply an enlarged and expanded version of that found within nation-states. (2002: 8); Introduction Governo Locale

16 16 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -[rather, European society consists of] a multiplicity of social spheres and public spaces not patterned according to the logic of an overarching principle. This frees us from the necessity to study the EU in terms of either an integrated supranational entity or the aggregate of its member states... We can begin to think of the EU not as a totality or an integrated whole, but as a series of overlapping networks and diffuse power centres. (2002: 8-9); Introduction Governo Locale

17 17 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -First, the object of politics is no longer what it was under conditions of modernity. Collective political action is no longer centered on the politics of state power: it is increasingly an ethical politics centered on the expression and furtherance of self-identity. Introduction Governo Locale

18 18 Political sociology and the EU (according to Chris Rumford) -Second, political and social transformation does not necessarily proceed according to previously accepted models. The politics of emancipation have given way to a politics of identity recognition in the passage from modernity to postmodernity and post-materialism. These changes have a particularly important bearing on the way we study social exclusion, citizenship, and the nature of European democracy. (2002: 9); Introduction Governo Locale

19 19 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -Favell & Guiraudon seek to develop a sociology of the European Union in order to reveal the social bases of European integration... as well as identify effects on European society (2009: 550); Introduction Governo Locale

20 20 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -Until recently, sociological approaches to European integration have been scattered and marginal to the debates; -Only in the last few years we have seen some kind of sociological imagination emerging in EU studies, in particular in what the authors see as a wrong sociological turn (that is, an emphasis on ideas, systems of beliefs). Introduction Governo Locale

21 21 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -At the same time, it can be argued that there are a wide range of studies on Europe that could be used explicitly in EU studies, but so far have not: 1. Studies on the European welfare state (Esping-Andersen); 2. The social history of Europe (Kaelble); 3. European modernity (Therborn; Wagner); 4. Capitalism in Europe (Crouch; Hall & Soskice). Introduction Governo Locale

22 22 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -Little cross-fertilization has taken place between marco-sociological endeavours and European integration studies. -The latter remain focused on visible institutions and policies of the EU, -While the former often barely mentions the European project. -Favell & Guiraudon call for an agenda including the Europeanization of the European economy and society. Introduction Governo Locale

23 23 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -There is an increasing attention to sociology in European Studies that has emerged under the name of constructivism; -Constructivism criticizes the idea that (European) political actors are merely moved by (national) self-interest, and emphases the role of ideas, belief systems, frames, discourses and narratives on actors behaviour. -However, this sociological turn has not changed the object of EU studies. Introduction Governo Locale

24 24 Political sociology and the EU (according to Adrian Favell & Virginie Guiraudon) -Favell & Guiraudon make a claim for an empirical sociology of the EU. They identify a number of more (classical) sociological areas on which such a sociology might focus: -Social stratification (inequality); -European class-formation; -Social and spatial mobility (intra-EU migrants); -Social networks; -Social cleavages and pluralism; -Social movements, public spheres. Introduction Governo Locale

25 25 Introduction Governo Locale

26 26 Sociology and the EU (according to Sabine Saurugger & Frédéric Mérand) –European Integration Studies: sociology as focussing on a narrow set of variables: identity, culture, ideas, norms –Sociology has more to offer to major debates in EU studies: Constructivism Institutionalism Multi-level governance Intergovernmentalism Introduction Governo Locale

27 27 Sociology and the EU (according to Sabine Saurugger & Frédéric Mérand) Constructivism –EU constructivism deals with: a. socialization and learning among EU institutions and member states (logic of appropriateness); b. formation of a European identity (European culture; cultural identity; Europeanization of identities). Introduction Governo Locale

28 28 Sociology and the EU (according to Sabine Saurugger & Frédéric Mérand) Institutionalism –Focus on the emergence of particular institutions (political, economic) and their duration and impact on actors over time (path dependency) - distinct European political institutions (e.g. European Parliament; policy networks; social Europe); - emergence of networks (stabilization of social interaction, e.g., ERT); - Bourdieuian approaches that focus on fields. Introduction Governo Locale

29 29 Sociology and the EU (according to Sabine Saurugger & Frédéric Mérand) Multi-level governance -Multi-level governance as an alternative description of the European project (to either a federal state or an international organization) -Two constraints: 1. lack of attention for power; 2. lack of attention of practices; Introduction Governo Locale

30 30 Sociology and the EU (according to Sabine Saurugger & Frédéric Mérand) Intergovernmentalism -The EU is understood as a form of cooperation between states which are conceived as rational actors. -The internal function and conflict in states is largely left out of the picture. -Sociology focuses on domestic political forces and symbolic representations. Introduction Governo Locale


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