Call for contribution Less Europe, different Europe(s) The

Call for contribution
Less Europe, different Europe(s)
The controversial discourses of Europe
Comunicazione Politica monograph issue 3/2015
Editor Marinella Belluati (University of Turin)
Feelings of scepticism and criticism towards the project of European integration have been playing
a prominent role within the European public space. The 2014 elections in particular turned into an
occasion to express the negative moods and growing disaffection together with antipolitical feelings
and new forms of populism that are spreading throughout Europe.
The project of European integration, especially at these times of economic crisis, does not seem to
be perceived with the same level of positivity with which it was often welcomed in the past. Such
positive approach was often too hasty and premature, as demonstrated by the “permissive
consensus” thesis. But the critical approach, openly supported by national political parties and
populist movements, can hide the real nature of the phenomenon and remove those elements of
complexity that help understanding the new season of Europe and Europeism. Alongside Euro
sceptical narratives reported in the media and by anti-European party leaders, according to the
European statistics the general level of trust in Europe is growing, as it is seen as a form of
protection from the crisis while providing possibilities of institutional modernization. Moreover, the
evaluation concerning the European institutions and policies is positive as in many countries the EU
shows performances that prove more efficient and effective than the national ones.
It would be difficult to argue that the integration phase is not moving forward. There is a process of
Europeanization of social systems and public opinions that can be observed more clearly in social
practices rather than in cultural elaborations and which progresses notwithstanding political
resistance and the lack of ability that media systems show when attempting to narrate it. This
process consists in individual experiences, mobility for workers and students, marriages and new
unions, integrated communication flows – such as for example the web. This is made possible by
the existence of a common currency, a growingly open circulation space and a lingua Franca,
English, which supplanted the idea of common language. This engenders a growing need for
integrated policies and rules valid across all the EU countries.
But all this is hardly ever found in public and political speeches, reported and reinforced in the
media who rather prefer to fuel the rhetoric of a distant and cold Europe to boost their internal
consensus, a Europe that is a constraint rather than a resource, a product of banks and bureaucracy
rather than a creation of citizens. There is undoubtedly some truth in this, but there is also the
systematic removal of a different horizon.
The goal of this monograph is to bring together works that well explain the coexistence of such
contrasting tensions. We would like to foreground the structural and narrative elements that keep
being an obstacle to the affirmation of the European public sphere and that fuel the European lack
of democracy, which is well rooted in the nationalistic rhetoric and the national institutions that are
not ready to give up their power. As we often hear, the economic and financial agreements are not
Direttore: Franca Roncarolo
Direzione e redazione: Dip. Culture politica e società Tel.
Università degli Studi di Torino
Lungo Dora Siena 100, Torino (Italia)
+39 011 6704111
+39 011 6702612
[email protected]
enough to create and strengthen a feeling of European citizenship; it is necessary to strengthen the
political space and, according to Habermas, the voice of intellectuals who should fight populism
and be supported by serious media outlets, to build good social representation. The latest elections
legitimized the presence of Euro-sceptical political feelings: even though they have not taken a
prominent role in the European institutional architecture – the anti-European parties are
experiencing quite a few difficulties in creating coalitions across Euro-parliamentary groups – they
are nevertheless letting a negative narrative emerge and this is spreading across politics and
influencing the society at large. Still, it must be said that the space of Euro-criticism is ill-defined
and lacks cohesion, bringing together extreme positions such as those of the Lega Nord and the
Front National, sharing similar definitions, those of the British UKIP or Alba Dorada, openly
hostile and contrary to Europe, and those who may be labelled as progressive such as Tzipras Other
Europe or the Podemos movement, which gave a voice to the Indignados, together with the new
transnational environmentalist or consumerist movements. All these are signals that a cognitive
mobilization is taking place around Europe and calls for deeper understanding.
Starting from these tenets, the ComPol monograph is looking forward to collect analytical
contributions dialectically exploring the tension between contrasting elements of pressure and
resistance to the construction process of a European public space. Contributions focusing on the
following topics will be welcomed:
The 2014 European Elections
Transnational experience of political organizations and leadership, with an anti-European
approach or aiming for a European re-foundation
The European public sphere building debate and its actors
The sentiments of trust or mistrust in Europe (quantity and quality approaches).
The European communication flows (media representation, public communication and
integrated media systems)
The European communication of national public actors (parties, governments, civil society)
The European deliberation decision processes
An abstract of max 500 words must be sent by 31st January 2015 ([email protected]).
Proposals will be selected by the 28th February.
Complete manuscripts must be sent by 15th June 2015 and they will be subjected to a double
blind peer review.
Proposals and articles are welcome both in Italian and English.
Direttore: Franca Roncarolo
Direzione e redazione: Dip. Culture politica e società Tel.
Università degli Studi di Torino
Lungo Dora Siena 100, Torino (Italia)
+39 011 6704111
+39 011 6702612
[email protected]