This is the draft summary chapter for a collection of essays, European Public Spheres: Politics is Back (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). It critically assesses what we do and do not know about the relation of public spheres to politics and the social more generally, and points out several gaps and challenges to address. First, arguments about public spheres are ultimately claims about how language and communication shape politics. Recognizing that institutions, power and practice are important as well, scholars in other fields have supplemented the linguistic approach with other types of analysis. In work on public spheres, however, a similar move seems absent – which results in incomplete arguments, for example, on the relation of public spheres to European identity. Second, how well do arguments on European public spheres hold up cross-nationally – or even in respect to the enlarged Europe that today’s reality? Third, beyond establishing that Europeanized public spheres matter, future research needs to explore how much they matter. This will involve more ambitious research designs – establishing baselines and relative weightings, identifying scope conditions and thinking counterfactually.
Jeffrey T. Checkel homepage: http://www.sfu.ca/internationalstudies/checkel.html
Final version of this paper was published as ch. 9 Identity, Europe and the World beyond Public Spheres in European Public Spheres: Politics is Back, Thomas Risse, ed. 227-246. 2014. Available via publisher website here. Checkel, Jeffrey T., Identity, Europe and the World beyond Public Spheres, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 22/2012, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, December 2012.
European Public Spheres: Politics is Back
Identity, Europe and the World beyond Public Spheres
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