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Workshop: The Contentious Face of European Politics

News from Jan 11, 2010


The Contentious Face of European Politics: Towards an Analysis of Discursive and Visual Strategies of Transnational Diffusion

January 14th-16th 2010

Research College “The Transformative Power of Europe”

Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science

Freie Universität Berlin

Contact: Nicole Doerr / Amelie Kutter


The organizers are happy to invite you to the first interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Visual and Discursive Analysis of Contentious European Politics and Transnational Diffusion at KFG. The workshop will bring together doctoral students, KFG fellows and advanced scholars working on the fields of Visual and Discursive Analysis, Social Movements, Democracy and Participation in Transnational Publics.

The workshop seeks to enhance the understanding, conceptual clarity and empirical study of the contentious face of EU politics. In recent years European integration has become subject to popular dissent and increasing public contention. Social actors established themselves who exploit the multilingual, culturally pluralist and contentious potential of European publics for the definition and transnational diffusion of their (alternative) visions of European integration. They trigger and channel transnational debate by spreading specific images and discourses across national and linguistic borders, condensing them in contentious metaphors such as the ‘Polish plumber’ or the ‘fortress Europe’. It is this symbolic dimension of the public sphere that offers an increasingly relevant pathway for non-state actors and civil society groups to intervene as transnational discourse entrepreneurs. Most recently, the current economic crisis gives rise to additional contention of European integration. The crisis challenges acknowledged principles of solidarity, be they defined with regard to the individual’s chances and social responsibility, financial support for poorer regions and bankrupt EU states, or vis-à-vis other regions of the world.

For more detailed information see workshop program (PDF).