Monday, 23 February 2009

Contemporary European Social Theory

I am preparing a lecture on 'The New Europe', looking at citizenship, identity and democracy. The lecture is in a power point and starts at looking at identity, different kinds of identities, national and ethnic identity, Anderson's imagined communities, moving towards complexity, multiplicity, contextuality of social identies. It then develops into the nation state, superstates, rights and obligations, supressed national identities, cosmopolitan democracies, political interest and engagement on active citizenship. I hope the convenor of the course will be pleased with the line I have followed for teaching this theme. Tomorrow I need to finish the PowerPoint and prepare a tutorial on this theme. I will do an exercise where the students will have to take votes and look at the meaning of 'majority' on two controversial themes (energy and security in Europe). I need to get two study cases and to find a country description (for each student's country) of these issues so they can compare across Europe. I need to add links to the council of Europe website, and to my own article on the European Elections.


  1. Looking back: I used one study case I thought would be relevant to MA students in Business: Should European Private Companies be regulated by the European Union (within Europe and across European borders?). I used an actual example under discussion at the EU Parliament

    For the Lecture
    **Key themes developed:
    Contemporary European Democracies marked by tensions to do with challenges to the nation-state.
    **Interdependence is the reality of the New Europe
    ** Understanding Europe means understanding how individuals perceive nationalism and national identity
    **Identity and belonging, citizenship and the representation of collectivities.

    Questions in class:
    Group 1: how far can people participate in politics in their daily life? How much knowledge do people have in order to be politically active?

    Group 2: Can people in Europe grow a sense of being ‘citizens of Europe’ whilst sharing a ‘national identity’?
    Will Europe be made of a European civil Society upon governance based on social dialogue?

    Examples from Uricchio, W (eds) 2008 We Europeans? Media, Representations, Identities. Intellect Books: Bristol.

  2. Next Entry will be on Contemporary European Theory, not just on description of the teaching


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