THE EURO CRISIS: NEW SOCIO-POLITICAL DIVISIONS, MOBILITY AND MOBILIZATION
The section chair and co-chair are Hans-Joerg Trenz, Director of the Centre for Modern European Studies, University of Copenhagen, and Goffredo Adinolfi, Center for Research and Studies in Sociology, Lisbon University Institute. The Section convenors are Niilo Kauppi , Research Director – CNRS, University of Strasbourg, and David Swartz, Department of Sociology, Boston University.
The current Euro crisis is receiving considerable attention – as it should – among EU scholars. Much of that attention, however, focuses on the origins and nature of this crisis, and its consequences for reshaping financial and political institutions. Yet the long term socio-political costs and consequences of crisis are becoming more apparent. From a political sociology perspective it is now time to appraise these long term developments that affect the political constellation of Europe, its structured diversity of political cultures, political instability, social unrest and new inequalities. In the fifth year of crisis we therefore invite contributions that assess the social and political consequences for future European integration or disintegration and outline the political and normative challenges ahead. Those consequences can be seen in cross-border migrations and mobilizations, diversity and multicultural considerations, social exclusion and stratification, loss of confidence (growing political skepticism) in mainstream institutions (parties, trade unions, parliaments) , and resurgent cultural and political localisms that challenge the principles underpinning representative democracy.
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. Contemporary political sociology of Europe is concerned with the contestation of legitimacy across societies and political systems. From a political sociology perspective, the ‘European crisis’ has an extraordinarily high potential for generating deep and ongoing conflicts about European integration within and across national domestic politics. It has fueled debate over the authority of the state and of transnational regimes of governance. It has pit northern countries against southern ones, citizens against elites. 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. These contestations are carried by public intellectuals, political parties and a growing number of protest movements in different national arenas leading to various allegiances and frictions. Political conflicts are also channeled through different media outlets, amplifying and interconnecting perceptions of interests, identity and solidarity.
This section will organize 6-8 panels around these topics. We invite contributions that consider various kinds of social consequences and /or investigate the restructuring of political order and legitimacy in the relationship between member states and the EU.
Panel 1: Governance beyond the nation-state: What are the prospects and limits for the allocation of authority and decision-making capacities beyond the nation-state?
Panel 2: Conflict and new cleavages: how are experiences of social deprivation translated into political conflict and cleavages? How does the (re)politicization of inequalities and the return of redistributive conflicts correlate with a ‘new politics of identity’, nationalism, regionalism and expressions of Euroscepticism?
Panel 3: Democracy, rights and legitimacy: What are the roots of the current lack of legitimacy of Europe? How can the requirements of democratic participation and rights in today’s situation of globalized politics be met? Can the idea of popular sovereignty be valid in a transnational context of governance? What type of democratic responses do we observe in reaction to the crisis of welfare and governance?
Panel 4: Intra EU-migration: a reappraisal of EU citizenship? How has the Euro crisis exposed the asymmetries of European citizenship and the differences that divide the peoples of Europe? How can mobile citizens make use of EU citizenship rights as a strategy of resilience against crisis induced negative consequences?
Panel 5: New media and new patterns of mobilization: how are new (digital) media used as a resource of support, resistance and/or civic engagement of particular groups? How can we account of the new discursive and mediating practices of political legitimation that interrelate political elites with the citizens?
Panel 6: Political skepticism (loss of trust) in European institutions: How has crisis affected public attitudes and perceptions of legitimacy and identity in a transnational, comparative perspective? How is Euroscepticism manifested in national and 2014 European Parliament elections?
More information on how to submit papers or become a panel organizer will follow.