Europe’s social substrate

This workshop focuses on Europe's civil society and on the implications of the crisis. A key assumption is that the crisis politicizes through redistributive conflicts and a ‘new politics of identity’. An important question that is considered is how the Europe of rights and citizenship confronts a Europe of increasing inequalities.

The workshop is one of four parallel workshops organised as part of the conference Democratic Constitutionalism in Europe on 4-6 November 2014.

It is part of the EuroDiv project Integration and division: Towards a segmented Europe?

Participation upon invitation.

Convener: Hans-Jörg Trenz


Crisis-induced social constraints and conflicts test the capacity of the political system (both nation state and EU) to respond to the needs and demands of society. This workshop is concerned with the contestation of legitimacy across societies and political systems. From a comparative and cross-disciplinary perspective we will explore how the ‘European crisis’ has generated deep and ongoing conflicts about European integration within and across national domestic politics, how it has fuelled debate over the authority of the constitutional state and of transnational regimes of governance, how it has pit northern countries against southern ones, citizens against elites and ultimately how it has also fundamentally put into question the efficiency and morality of the European free market and its capacity to guarantee welfare, sustainable growth, and equal distribution of goods and benefits.

The different contributions will explore these contestations within and across national arenas. They will look into the carriers of these contestations: public intellectuals, political parties and a growing number of protest movements and their various allegiances and frictions. They will further investigate how political conflicts are channelled through different media outlets, amplifying and interconnecting perceptions of interests, identity and solidarity.

The objective is ultimately to delineate the contours of the contested European social space and to discuss the legitimacy impact of contested European politics on the democratic constitutional state and the prospects for the constitutionalisation of the European integration project.


Panel 1: Political contestations of capitalism

Wednesday 5 Nov, 09.15-12.30

Chair: Asimina Michailidou

TINA revisited: Alternative narratives of the Euro-crisis and how they matter
Ulrike Liebert, University of Bremen

Discussant: Espen D. H. Olsen, ARENA University of Oslo

Unemployed youth and politics in Germany and Sweden: A qualitative approach to a contested relationships
Christian Lahusen, University of Siegen (with Jennifer Hobbins, University of Karlstad)

Discussant: Hans-Jörg Trenz, University of Copenhagen/ARENA University of Oslo

On behalf ourselves: The paradoxes of non-conventional representation and the Eurozone turmoil
Giovanni Moro, FONDACA, Rome

Discussant: Ulrike Liebert, University of Bremen


12.30-13.30  Lunch (Georg Sverdrups hus - stort møterom 1st floor/2. etasje)


Panel 2: Popular resistances and protest in times of crisis

Wednesday 5 Nov, 13.30-17.00

Chair: Ulrike Liebert

Alternative forms of resistance in times of economic crises: Spontaneous community engagement, non-capitalist practices and provoking (positive) change at the local level: Experiences from Greece
Ruby Gropas, European University Institute

Discussant: Christian Lahusen, University of Siegen

Compliance or resistance? Framing dominant discourses and political priorities of Italian and British civil society organisations in the euro-crisis
Cristiano Bee, University of Surrey

Discussant: Asimina Michailidou, ARENA University of Oslo

National stereotypes in the context of the European crisis - an overview of current research
Aline Sierp, University of Maastricht (with Christian Karner, University of Nottingham)

Discussant: Tatiana Fumasoli, ARENA University of Oslo


19.00  Dinner, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin


Panel 3: Euroscepticism in times of crisis

Thursday 6 Nov, 09.15-12.30

Chair: Tatiana Fumasoli

The rise of rightwing euroscepticism in crisis-stricken Greece
Susannah Verney, University of Athens

Discussant: Cristiano Bee, University of Surrey

Euroscepticism as a lever: Contesting European integration with ulterior motives
Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey

Discussant: Ruby Gropas, European University Institute

Euroscepticism in online media: Conflictual, ambiguous, pervasive
Asimina Michailidou and Hans-Jörg Trenz, ARENA University of Oslo

Discussant: Simon Usherwood, University of Surrey


12.30-13.30  Lunch (Georg Sverdrups hus - stort møterom 1st floor/2. etasje)


ARENA Centre for European Studies
Published Oct. 14, 2014 11:02 PM - Last modified Nov. 5, 2014 6:58 AM