Integrated and United? A Quest for Citizenship in an 'Ever Closer Europe' (INTUNE)

  • Awarded to: Professor Claudio Radaelli
  • Funding Awarded to Exeter: £146,817
  • Dates: 1 September 2005 - 31 August 2009
  • Sponsor(s): European Commission

'The major aim of this research is to study the changes in the scope, nature and characteristics of citizenship presently underway as an effect of the process of deepening and enlargement of the European Union. It will focus on how integration and decentralization processes, at both the national and European level, are affecting three major dimensions of citizenship: identity, representation, and practice of good governance. In a moment in which the EU is facing an important number of challenges, and given that its legitimacy and democratic capacities are questioned, it is important to address the issue of if and how is EU citizenship emerging. From this primary question stem three further sets of questions that will be the building-blocks of this research: (1) How does a particular kind of political structuring shape citizenship? In a complex system, how do different identities coexist? (2) What sense of obligation is the EU citizenship developing? How do coexisting identities affect the relationship between elites and mass? (3) What are the citizens expecting from the EU as a level of government? To answer these questions, we will address the problems of citizenship under the threefold approach of identity, representation and evaluation of government performance, by looking at the dynamics between elites and public opinion, whose interactions traditionally nurture the dynamics of collective political identity, political legitimacy and representation, and standards of performanceThe project will develop: - Research goals such as the empirical testing of existing theories of integration and citizenship in its threefold dimensions, identity, representation and governance, and the development and improvement of those theories. - Educational goals rooted in the geographical and disciplinary integrating capacity of the project, with over 30 institutions from both Eastern and Western Europe, and with a joint effort of people coming from political science, sociology, law, economy, media studies, linguistics, psychology a clear step forward in the strengthening of the European Research Area in the social sciences and humanities. The European research capacities will be mobilised at both, the level of well-established scholars, and that of younger fellows through the implementation of training programs. - Policy-making goals related to the understanding of what is to be legitimized in the EU and how. Existing policy instruments for participatory governance will be applied such as deliberative polling, citizen juries in order to provide empirical evidence on the relationship existing between participatory governance, enhanced policy outcomes, and an overall improvement of the democratic functioning of the EU system. The dissemination activities will contribute to triggering the relationships between the EU citizens, and also between those citizens and the EU institutions. Ways in which the process of further mobilization of public opinion can be achieved will also be proposed. Potential Impact The project intends to contribute to: - Theory development. The research will offer a theoretical dynamic picture of the characteristics and dimensions of citizenship in a unique period of European history. - Empirical research. The project will map a detailed description of the main conceptions of identity and their multiple interconnections among set of actors crucial to the process of construction of an European identity, namely, elite, citizens and mass media. - Research methodology. The project stresses as much comparability with previous studies as innovation in both design and wording of the questions (such as experimental conditions in survey, innovative ways of asking questions, etc.). - Innovative standards of responsiveness of political institutions, making possible to spread practice of active involvement of citizens in local and Europe-wide political activities.