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Civil society and EU constitution-making: Towards a European social constituency?

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Author Info

  • Hans-Jörg Trenz, Nadine Bernhard
  • Erik Jentges

Abstract

The EU constitutional process has ascribed a new role to civil society not only as a partner in governance but also as a constituent of the emerging EU polity. Civil society appears in this process primarily as the structure of voice that is articulated in relation to EU governance and that claims to represent European citizens. The article proposes an analytical framework and a methodology of how to analyze civil society as ‘social constituency’. The research agenda is linked to the intermediary and the representative function of organised civil society as a transmission belt of legitimatory discourse on the EU. In order to reconstruct how interests, identities and normative ideas relating to the legitimacy of an EU constitutional order are contested within national politics, our research draws on a survey of German civil society organisations in three sectors: a) consumer interest organisations, b) churches and religious organisations, and c) gender equality groups.

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File URL: http://www.reconproject.eu/main.php/RECON_wp_0907.pdf?fileitem=16662588
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RECON in its series RECON Online Working Papers Series with number 7.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:erp:reconx:p0046

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Web page: http://www.reconproject.eu

Related research

Keywords: civil society; constitution building; discourse; Germany; governance; legitimacy; polity building; treaty reform;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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  1. Kröger, Sandra, 2008. "Nothing but consultation: The place of organised civil society in EU policy-making across policies," European Governance Papers (EUROGOV) 3, CONNEX and EUROGOV networks.
  2. Erik Oddvar Eriksen & John Erik Fossum, 2007. "Europe in Transformation: How to Reconstitute Democracy?," RECON Online Working Papers Series 1, RECON.
  3. Christopher Lord, 2008. "Some indicators of the democratic performance of the European Union and how they might relate to the RECON models," RECON Online Working Papers Series 11, RECON.
  4. James Caporaso & Sidney Tarrow, 2008. "Polanyi in Brussels: European institutions and the embedding of markets in society," RECON Online Working Papers Series 1, RECON.
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