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Appel : Less Europe, different Europe(s)

Vous trouverez ci-dessous l’appel de la revue italienne Com Pol Communicazione Politica pour un numéro intitulé « Less Europe, different Europe (s) ».

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 skeptical 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 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 (compol.rivista@gmail.com).

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.

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