New book: The New Politics of European Civil Society

Ulrike Liebert and Hans-Jörg Trenz, coordinators of WP 5 – Civil Society and the Public Sphere, are the editors of a new volume which appeared on Routledge in November 2010. They examine whether and how civil society can contribute to making democracy work in normative democratic theoretical perspectives.

 

The new politics of European civil society

Ulrike Liebert and Hans-Jörg Trenz (eds), Routledge, 2010

Over the past two decades, civil society has played a pivotal role in Europe, from the demise of Communist rule to the reunification of Europe, followed by the expansion of the single market to the reconstitution of democracy in the enlarged European Union.European civil society has emerged as a social space between EU governance and the citizens of the member states, populated by non-state agents claiming to represent, speak for or participate on behalf of the most varied social constituencies in EU decision making. This book consolidates European civil society research by re-viewing its conceptual, normative and empirical-analytical foundations. With contributors from political science to sociology to law, it captures the evolving practices of European civil society that stretch across the national (local), the European and the global realm.

Developing an analytical framework that highlights the interplay between civil society building and polity building from above as well as from below, within the legal and institutional framework of the EU, they examine whether and how civil society can contribute to making democracy work in normative democratic theoretical perspectives.

The book is a cooperative project which was initiated by the editors’ coordination of WP 5 - Civil Society and the Public Sphere, and which further matured through exchanges with colleagues who share a longstanding interest and research experience in European civil society. The book thus also draws on research from the CONNEX Network of Excellence and the CIVGOV project, and has benefited from fieldwork conducted within the ConstEPS and the EU Social Constituency projects.

The volume contains contributions by Andrew Arato, Nadine Bernhard, Klaus Eder, Erik Jentges, Beate Kohler-Koch, Ulrike Liebert, David Ost, Heiko Pleines, Christine Quittkat, Carlo Ruzza, Stijn Smismans and Hans-Jörg Trenz.

 

See more at the publisher's website.

The book is part of the Routledge Studies on Democratising Europe, series editors Erik O. Eriksen and John Erik Fossum.

 

Some of the contributions to the volume also appeared in a special issue of Policy and Society in 2009.

08.12.2010