The Everyday Politics of the European Public Sphere: Moving Beyond EU Policy Perspectives

Markus Ketola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    While in the academic debate the idea of a European public sphere is seen from both consensual and conflictual perspectives, in the field of European Union (EU) policymaking, it tends to assume the profile of a neutral and all-inclusive social space. By focusing on the street level, this article suggests that such a view is problematic because it fails to resonate with people's everyday experiences. The article contrasts EU policy on civil society engagement and immigration with examples of civil society reactions to immigration in two corners of Europe—on the Italian island of Lampedusa and in the city of Athens, Greece. In order for the concept of a European public sphere to garner meaning outside the EU policy process, it needs to be anchored in the everyday politics of social space in Europe. This means embracing an ‘ethnographic approach’ that is sensitive to difference, diversity, and conflict, and to the daily (micro)political struggles that are played out in the public sphere.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages213-228
    JournalJournal of Civil Society
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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    social space
    civil society
    immigration
    everyday experience
    politics
    Greece

    Keywords

    • European public sphere
    • civil society
    • everyday politics
    • social space

    Cite this

    @article{072b39980ac049d2b215537a4f41f29a,
    title = "The Everyday Politics of the European Public Sphere: Moving Beyond EU Policy Perspectives",
    abstract = "While in the academic debate the idea of a European public sphere is seen from both consensual and conflictual perspectives, in the field of European Union (EU) policymaking, it tends to assume the profile of a neutral and all-inclusive social space. By focusing on the street level, this article suggests that such a view is problematic because it fails to resonate with people's everyday experiences. The article contrasts EU policy on civil society engagement and immigration with examples of civil society reactions to immigration in two corners of Europe—on the Italian island of Lampedusa and in the city of Athens, Greece. In order for the concept of a European public sphere to garner meaning outside the EU policy process, it needs to be anchored in the everyday politics of social space in Europe. This means embracing an ‘ethnographic approach’ that is sensitive to difference, diversity, and conflict, and to the daily (micro)political struggles that are played out in the public sphere.",
    keywords = "European public sphere, civil society, everyday politics, social space",
    author = "Markus Ketola",
    note = "Reference text: 1. Al Jazeera (2010) Greek Fascists Clash with Immigrants. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enyQYID5KV4andNR=1andfeature=fvwp (accessed 4 August 2011). 2. Al Jazeera (2011) Tensions Rise over Migrant Arrivals in Lampedusa. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyyPa9HTE-sandNR=1 (accessed 7 August 2011). 3. Antonsich, M. 2008. The narration of Europe in ‘National’ and ‘Post-national’ terms. European Journal of Social Theory, 11(4): 505–522. (doi:10.1177/1368431008097009) [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 4. Athens-Macedonian News Agency (2010) Tension, violence reported in Aghios Panteleimonas protest, Athens News, 30 September. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/9/23473 (accessed 4 August 2011). 5. Athens-Macedonian News Agency (2011) Migrants ‘take over’ Athens law school, Athens News, 24 January. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/36637 (accessed 4 August 2011). 6. B{\"a}renreuter, C., Br{\"u}ll, C., Mokre, M., & Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2009) Online Working Paper No. 3: An Overview of Research on the European Public Sphere, Eurosphere Working Paper Series. Available at http://eurospheres.org/publications/working-papers-2/2008-2/ (accessed 28 May 2012). 7. Bebbington, A., Hickey, S. and Mitlin, D. 2008. Can NGOs Make a Difference? The Challenge of Development Alternatives, London: Zed Books. 8. Bee, C. and Bozzini, E. 2010. Mapping the European Public Sphere: Institutions, Media and Civil Society, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate. 9. Bellamy, R. and Castiglione, D. 2000. “The uses of democracy: Reflections on the European democratic deficit”. In Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, Edited by: Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 65–84. New York: Routledge. 10. Benhabib, S. 1992. “Models of public space: Hannah Arendt, the liberal tradition, and J{\"u}rgen Habermas”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 73–98. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 11. de Beus, J. 2010. “The European Union and the public sphere: Conceptual issues, political tensions, moral concerns and empirical questions”. In The Making of a European Public Sphere: Media Discourse and Political Contention, Edited by: Koopmans, R. and Statham, P. 13–33. New York: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef] 12. Bryman, A. 2008. Social Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 13. Calhoun, C. J. 1992. “Introduction: Habermas and the public sphere”. In Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 1–50. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 14. Conti, N. and Memoli, V. 2011. The multi-faceted nature of party-based Euroscepticism. Acta Politica, 47(2): 91–112. doi: 10.1057/ap.2011.22 [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 15. Dedman, M. 1996. The Origins and Development of the European Union, 1945–95: A History of European Integration, London: Routledge. 16. Della Porta, D. 2003. Dimensions of Political Opportunities and the Europeanisation of Public Spheres, Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum. 17. Dressler, W., & Terrazzoni, L. (2011) Online Working Paper No. 35: The Formation of a European Public Sphere and Ethno-national Diversity. Eurosphere Working Paper Series. Available at http://eurospheres.org/publications/working-papers-2/2011-working-papers/ (accessed 28 May 2012). 18. Eriksen, E. O. 2005. An emerging European public sphere. European Journal of Social Theory, 8(3): 341–363. doi: 10.1177/1368431005054798 [CrossRef] 19. Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 2000. Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, New York: Routledge. 20. European Commission (2001a) European Governance: A White Paper, COM (2001), 428 Final. 21. European Commission. 2001b. Report of Working Group on ‘Broadening and Enriching the Public Debate on European Matters’, Brussels: European Commission. 22. European Commission. 2001c. Report of Working Group on ‘Consultation and Participation of Civil Society’, Brussels: European Commission. 23. European Commission (2005) A Common Agenda for Integration Framework for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the European Union, COM (2005), 389 Final. 24. European Commission (2006) White Paper on a European Communication Policy, COM (2006), 35 Final. 25. European Commission (2008) A Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, Actions and Tools, COM (2008), 359 Final. 26. European Commission (2009) Tracking Method for Monitoring the Implementation of the European Act on Immigration and Asylum, COM (2009), 266 Final. 27. Fassin, {\'E}. and Surkis, J. 2010. Introduction: Transgressing boundaries. Public Culture, 22(3): 487–505. doi: 10.1215/08992363–2010-006 [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 28. Foret, F. 2010. European political rituals: A challenging tradition in the making. International Political Anthropology, 3(1): 55–77. 29. Fraser, N. 1992. “Rethinking the public sphere”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 109–142. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 30. Frontext. 2012. Annual Risk Analysis, Warsaw: Risk Analysis Unit, Frontex. 31. Giorgi, L., von Homeyer, I. and Parsons, W. 2006. Democracy in the European Union: Towards the Emergence of a Public Sphere, Routledge Advances in European Politics, London: Routledge. 32. Glasius, M., Lewis, D. and Seckinelgin, H. 2004. Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts, London: Routledge. 33. G{\"o}le, N. 2006. “Islam, European public space, and civility”. In Conditions of European Solidarity, Vol. II: Religion in the New Europe, Edited by: Michalski, K. 122–130. Budapest: Central European University Press. 34. Habermas, J. 1992. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, Cambridge: Polity. 35. Hohendahl, P. U. 1992. “The public sphere: Models and boundaries”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 99–108. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 36. Howell, J. and Pearce, J. 2001. Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. 37. Joerge, C. and Everson, M. 2000. “Challenging the bureaucratic challenge”. In Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, Edited by: Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 164–188. New York: Routledge. 38. Joppke, C. 2008. Immigration and the identity of citizenship: the paradox of universalism. Citizenship Studies, 12(6): 533–546. doi: 10.1080/13621020802450445 [Taylor & Francis Online] 39. Koopmans, R. and Erbe, J. 2004. Towards a European public sphere?. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 17(2): 97–118. doi: 10.1080/1351161042000238643 [Taylor & Francis Online] 40. Koopmans, R. and Statham, P. 2010. The Making of a European Public Sphere: Media Discourse and Political Contention (Communication, Society and Politics), New York: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef] 41. Kopeck{\'y}, P. and Mudde, C. 2002. The two sides of Euroscepticism. European Union Politics, 3(3): 297–326. doi: 10.1177/1465116502003003002 [CrossRef], [CSA] 42. Lacroix, J. 2009. Does Europe need common values?. European Journal of Political Theory, 8(2): 141–156. doi: 10.1177/1474885108100850 [CrossRef] 43. Meyer, M. 2009. European civil society and participation: Introduction to special CINEFOGO issue. Journal of Civil Society, 5(3): 205–207. doi: 10.1080/17448680903351644 [Taylor & Francis Online] 44. Meyer, B. and Moors, A. 2006. Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 45. Milward, A. S. 2004. The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945–51, London: Taylor and Frances. 46. Mouffe, C. 2000. The Democratic Paradox, New York: Verso. 47. Peters, B., Sifft, S., Wimmel, A., Br{\"u}ggemann, M. and Kleinen-Von K{\"o}nigsl{\"o}w, K. 2005. 7 National and transnational public spheres: The case of the EU. European Review, 13(Suppl. S1): 13960 doi: 10.1017/S1062798705000232 48. Reuters Africa (2011) Hundreds more migrants reach Italy from Africa, 14 May. Available at http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE74D02Z20110514 (accessed 5 August 2011). 49. Risse, T. (2003) An emerging European public sphere? Theoretical clarifications and empirical indicators. Paper read at Annual Meeting of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), 27–30 March, at Nashville, TN. Available at http://aei.pitt.edu/6556/1/001315_1.PDF 50. Risse, T. 2010. A Community of Europeans?: Transnational Identities and Public Spheres, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 51. Schildt, A. and Siegfried, D. 2005. European Cities, Youth and the Public Sphere in the Twentieth Century, Aldershot: Ashgate. 52. Schmitt, C. 1996. The Concept of the Political, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 53. Splichal, S. 2012. Transnationalization of the Public Sphere and the Fate of the Public, New York: Hampton Press. 54. Szczerbiak, A. and Taggart, P. A. 2008. Opposing Europe? The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism, Vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 55. Taggart, P. 1998. A touchstone of dissent: Euroscepticism in contemporary Western European party systems. European Journal of Political Research, 33(3): 363–388. doi: 10.1023/a:1006853204101 [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}], [CSA] 56. Thomson, D., & Bechir, K. (2011) A One-Way Ticket Out of Tunisia, France 24, 13 May. Available at http://www.france24.com/en/20110513-reporters-one-way-ticket-out-of-tunisia-immigration-lampedusa-italy-emigrants-revolution-unemployment-poverty-hope (accessed 7 August 2011). 57. Trenz, H.-J. 2004. Media coverage on European governance. European Journal of Communication, 19(3): 291–319. doi: 10.1177/0267323104045257 [CrossRef], [Web of Science {\circledR}] 58. Triandafyllidou, A., Wodak, R. and Krzyzanowski, M. 2009. The European Public Sphere and the Media: Europe in Crisis, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [CrossRef] 59. Tzilivakis, K. (2002) Little room for Islam inside makeshift temples, Athens News, 11 October. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/old_issue/12983/8781 (accessed 4 August 2011). 60. Wessler, H. 2008. Transnationalization of Public Spheres, Transformations of the State, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [CrossRef] 61. White, G. 1994. Civil society, democratization and development (I): Clearing the analytical ground. Democratization, 1(2): 375–390. doi: 10.1080/13510349408403399 [Taylor & Francis Online] 62. Yin, R. K. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.",
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    The Everyday Politics of the European Public Sphere: Moving Beyond EU Policy Perspectives. / Ketola, Markus.

    In: Journal of Civil Society, Vol. 8, No. 3, 09.2012, p. 213-228.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The Everyday Politics of the European Public Sphere: Moving Beyond EU Policy Perspectives

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    N1 - Reference text: 1. Al Jazeera (2010) Greek Fascists Clash with Immigrants. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enyQYID5KV4andNR=1andfeature=fvwp (accessed 4 August 2011). 2. Al Jazeera (2011) Tensions Rise over Migrant Arrivals in Lampedusa. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyyPa9HTE-sandNR=1 (accessed 7 August 2011). 3. Antonsich, M. 2008. The narration of Europe in ‘National’ and ‘Post-national’ terms. European Journal of Social Theory, 11(4): 505–522. (doi:10.1177/1368431008097009) [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 4. Athens-Macedonian News Agency (2010) Tension, violence reported in Aghios Panteleimonas protest, Athens News, 30 September. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/9/23473 (accessed 4 August 2011). 5. Athens-Macedonian News Agency (2011) Migrants ‘take over’ Athens law school, Athens News, 24 January. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/36637 (accessed 4 August 2011). 6. Bärenreuter, C., Brüll, C., Mokre, M., & Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2009) Online Working Paper No. 3: An Overview of Research on the European Public Sphere, Eurosphere Working Paper Series. Available at http://eurospheres.org/publications/working-papers-2/2008-2/ (accessed 28 May 2012). 7. Bebbington, A., Hickey, S. and Mitlin, D. 2008. Can NGOs Make a Difference? The Challenge of Development Alternatives, London: Zed Books. 8. Bee, C. and Bozzini, E. 2010. Mapping the European Public Sphere: Institutions, Media and Civil Society, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate. 9. Bellamy, R. and Castiglione, D. 2000. “The uses of democracy: Reflections on the European democratic deficit”. In Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, Edited by: Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 65–84. New York: Routledge. 10. Benhabib, S. 1992. “Models of public space: Hannah Arendt, the liberal tradition, and Jürgen Habermas”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 73–98. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 11. de Beus, J. 2010. “The European Union and the public sphere: Conceptual issues, political tensions, moral concerns and empirical questions”. In The Making of a European Public Sphere: Media Discourse and Political Contention, Edited by: Koopmans, R. and Statham, P. 13–33. New York: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef] 12. Bryman, A. 2008. Social Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 13. Calhoun, C. J. 1992. “Introduction: Habermas and the public sphere”. In Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 1–50. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 14. Conti, N. and Memoli, V. 2011. The multi-faceted nature of party-based Euroscepticism. Acta Politica, 47(2): 91–112. doi: 10.1057/ap.2011.22 [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 15. Dedman, M. 1996. The Origins and Development of the European Union, 1945–95: A History of European Integration, London: Routledge. 16. Della Porta, D. 2003. Dimensions of Political Opportunities and the Europeanisation of Public Spheres, Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum. 17. Dressler, W., & Terrazzoni, L. (2011) Online Working Paper No. 35: The Formation of a European Public Sphere and Ethno-national Diversity. Eurosphere Working Paper Series. Available at http://eurospheres.org/publications/working-papers-2/2011-working-papers/ (accessed 28 May 2012). 18. Eriksen, E. O. 2005. An emerging European public sphere. European Journal of Social Theory, 8(3): 341–363. doi: 10.1177/1368431005054798 [CrossRef] 19. Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 2000. Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, New York: Routledge. 20. European Commission (2001a) European Governance: A White Paper, COM (2001), 428 Final. 21. European Commission. 2001b. Report of Working Group on ‘Broadening and Enriching the Public Debate on European Matters’, Brussels: European Commission. 22. European Commission. 2001c. Report of Working Group on ‘Consultation and Participation of Civil Society’, Brussels: European Commission. 23. European Commission (2005) A Common Agenda for Integration Framework for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the European Union, COM (2005), 389 Final. 24. European Commission (2006) White Paper on a European Communication Policy, COM (2006), 35 Final. 25. European Commission (2008) A Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, Actions and Tools, COM (2008), 359 Final. 26. European Commission (2009) Tracking Method for Monitoring the Implementation of the European Act on Immigration and Asylum, COM (2009), 266 Final. 27. Fassin, É. and Surkis, J. 2010. Introduction: Transgressing boundaries. Public Culture, 22(3): 487–505. doi: 10.1215/08992363–2010-006 [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 28. Foret, F. 2010. European political rituals: A challenging tradition in the making. International Political Anthropology, 3(1): 55–77. 29. Fraser, N. 1992. “Rethinking the public sphere”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 109–142. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 30. Frontext. 2012. Annual Risk Analysis, Warsaw: Risk Analysis Unit, Frontex. 31. Giorgi, L., von Homeyer, I. and Parsons, W. 2006. Democracy in the European Union: Towards the Emergence of a Public Sphere, Routledge Advances in European Politics, London: Routledge. 32. Glasius, M., Lewis, D. and Seckinelgin, H. 2004. Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts, London: Routledge. 33. Göle, N. 2006. “Islam, European public space, and civility”. In Conditions of European Solidarity, Vol. II: Religion in the New Europe, Edited by: Michalski, K. 122–130. Budapest: Central European University Press. 34. Habermas, J. 1992. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, Cambridge: Polity. 35. Hohendahl, P. U. 1992. “The public sphere: Models and boundaries”. In Habermas and the Public Sphere, Edited by: Calhoun, C. J. 99–108. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 36. Howell, J. and Pearce, J. 2001. Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. 37. Joerge, C. and Everson, M. 2000. “Challenging the bureaucratic challenge”. In Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?, Edited by: Eriksen, E. O. and Fossum, J. E. 164–188. New York: Routledge. 38. Joppke, C. 2008. Immigration and the identity of citizenship: the paradox of universalism. Citizenship Studies, 12(6): 533–546. doi: 10.1080/13621020802450445 [Taylor & Francis Online] 39. Koopmans, R. and Erbe, J. 2004. Towards a European public sphere?. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 17(2): 97–118. doi: 10.1080/1351161042000238643 [Taylor & Francis Online] 40. Koopmans, R. and Statham, P. 2010. The Making of a European Public Sphere: Media Discourse and Political Contention (Communication, Society and Politics), New York: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef] 41. Kopecký, P. and Mudde, C. 2002. The two sides of Euroscepticism. European Union Politics, 3(3): 297–326. doi: 10.1177/1465116502003003002 [CrossRef], [CSA] 42. Lacroix, J. 2009. Does Europe need common values?. European Journal of Political Theory, 8(2): 141–156. doi: 10.1177/1474885108100850 [CrossRef] 43. Meyer, M. 2009. European civil society and participation: Introduction to special CINEFOGO issue. Journal of Civil Society, 5(3): 205–207. doi: 10.1080/17448680903351644 [Taylor & Francis Online] 44. Meyer, B. and Moors, A. 2006. Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 45. Milward, A. S. 2004. The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945–51, London: Taylor and Frances. 46. Mouffe, C. 2000. The Democratic Paradox, New York: Verso. 47. Peters, B., Sifft, S., Wimmel, A., Brüggemann, M. and Kleinen-Von Königslöw, K. 2005. 7 National and transnational public spheres: The case of the EU. European Review, 13(Suppl. S1): 13960 doi: 10.1017/S1062798705000232 48. Reuters Africa (2011) Hundreds more migrants reach Italy from Africa, 14 May. Available at http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE74D02Z20110514 (accessed 5 August 2011). 49. Risse, T. (2003) An emerging European public sphere? Theoretical clarifications and empirical indicators. Paper read at Annual Meeting of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), 27–30 March, at Nashville, TN. Available at http://aei.pitt.edu/6556/1/001315_1.PDF 50. Risse, T. 2010. A Community of Europeans?: Transnational Identities and Public Spheres, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 51. Schildt, A. and Siegfried, D. 2005. European Cities, Youth and the Public Sphere in the Twentieth Century, Aldershot: Ashgate. 52. Schmitt, C. 1996. The Concept of the Political, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 53. Splichal, S. 2012. Transnationalization of the Public Sphere and the Fate of the Public, New York: Hampton Press. 54. Szczerbiak, A. and Taggart, P. A. 2008. Opposing Europe? The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism, Vol. 1, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 55. Taggart, P. 1998. A touchstone of dissent: Euroscepticism in contemporary Western European party systems. European Journal of Political Research, 33(3): 363–388. doi: 10.1023/a:1006853204101 [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA] 56. Thomson, D., & Bechir, K. (2011) A One-Way Ticket Out of Tunisia, France 24, 13 May. Available at http://www.france24.com/en/20110513-reporters-one-way-ticket-out-of-tunisia-immigration-lampedusa-italy-emigrants-revolution-unemployment-poverty-hope (accessed 7 August 2011). 57. Trenz, H.-J. 2004. Media coverage on European governance. European Journal of Communication, 19(3): 291–319. doi: 10.1177/0267323104045257 [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] 58. Triandafyllidou, A., Wodak, R. and Krzyzanowski, M. 2009. The European Public Sphere and the Media: Europe in Crisis, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [CrossRef] 59. Tzilivakis, K. (2002) Little room for Islam inside makeshift temples, Athens News, 11 October. Available at http://www.athensnews.gr/old_issue/12983/8781 (accessed 4 August 2011). 60. Wessler, H. 2008. Transnationalization of Public Spheres, Transformations of the State, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [CrossRef] 61. White, G. 1994. Civil society, democratization and development (I): Clearing the analytical ground. Democratization, 1(2): 375–390. doi: 10.1080/13510349408403399 [Taylor & Francis Online] 62. Yin, R. K. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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    AB - While in the academic debate the idea of a European public sphere is seen from both consensual and conflictual perspectives, in the field of European Union (EU) policymaking, it tends to assume the profile of a neutral and all-inclusive social space. By focusing on the street level, this article suggests that such a view is problematic because it fails to resonate with people's everyday experiences. The article contrasts EU policy on civil society engagement and immigration with examples of civil society reactions to immigration in two corners of Europe—on the Italian island of Lampedusa and in the city of Athens, Greece. In order for the concept of a European public sphere to garner meaning outside the EU policy process, it needs to be anchored in the everyday politics of social space in Europe. This means embracing an ‘ethnographic approach’ that is sensitive to difference, diversity, and conflict, and to the daily (micro)political struggles that are played out in the public sphere.

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