Diversity and the European Public Sphere. Towards a Citizens' Europe
The overall objective of EUROSPHERE is the development of innovative perspectives on concepts for a European public sphere and the identification of factors facilitating or hindering the development of a European public sphere. The diversity of European societies is an important framing condition for the development of European public sphere(s) and forms, thus, a main research focus. The main part of the project consists of a comparative empirical analysis in 16 countries. The comprehensive data base derived from this empirical research can be used to trace processes of translation between different cultural and political identity concepts and to evaluate them with regard to the development of a European public sphere.
EUROSPHERE analyses political interactions and aggregations of interests on European questions with regard to their contribution to a European public sphere. Perceptions of ethnically and nationally coded diversity in European societies stand at the core of our research interest. Thereby, the intersectionality of different forms of differentiation is taken into consideration, above all with regard to ethnicity and gender.
Within the empirical part of EUROSPHERE, positions of political parties, social movements/ citizens’ initiatives, think- tanks and media have been analysed. These organisations and their representatives are understood, at the same time, as actors of a European public sphere and as communication spaces.
The empirical work focuses on institutional developments of the EU, questions of citizenship and relevant policy fields (mobility, migration and asylum policies, enlargement). Positions and opinions on these issues are analysed on the basis of written documents, elite interviews and a media content analysis. Citizens’ opinions are studied on the basis of a secondary analysis of scientific opinion polls (European Social Survey, Eurobarometer).
The comprehensive data base derived from this empirical research will be valuable in tracing processes of translation between different cultural and political identity concepts and in evaluating them with regard to the development of a European public sphere.
EUROSPHERE is a European Commission-funded Integrated Project within the 6th Framework Programme. The EUROSPHERE Consortium comprises 17 European universities and research institutes The project is coordinated by the University of Bergen (Norway).