This book assesses the possible formation of a communicative space that might enable and engender the creation of a transnational or a supranational public. The contributors consider the EU’s democratic credentials and how well it communicates, and they also evaluate the major institutions and their links to general publics.
The European Union and the Public Sphere emphasizes a ‘deliberative democratic’ perspective on the public sphere, addressing some key questions:
• What are the prospects for a European public sphere?
• Should we think in terms of the EU having a single public sphere, or are overlapping public spheres a more viable option?
• What do this book’s findings on the question of the public sphere tell us about the EU as a political entity?
Students and scholars of European democracy, political communication, and the politics of institutions will all be greatly interested by this book.
This book examines the preferences of social democratic parties in Germany, France, the UK, Sweden and Greece towards European integration, in comparative perspective. Using a variety of sources, including interviews with key party officials, the contributors explore what kind of Europe these parties want, and seek to explain the formation and evolution of these preferences over time. They examine the interplay of national peculiarities and cross-national factors and their impact on preferences on European integration. In addition to highlighting the role of party leaders, they reveal that, far from being united on European integration, these parties disagree with each other in part because they have retreated – to varying degrees – from key social democratic principles.
Making an important contribution to the scholarship on preference formation and the research that links the European Union with the nation state, it will be of interest to students and scholars of the EU, comparative politics and political parties.