RESTEP Final Conference ∙ Call for Papers


RESTEP Final Conference, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles, 19th-20th May 2020

Some people want a more political Europe; others fear its consequences. For the European Union, politicization is both a project, a risk and, increasingly, a reality. In recent years, scientists have begun to study the making of European public opinion or political dynamics inside the European Central Bank and the European Commission. Since 2017, the Transatlantic Network on Political Europe (RESTEP) has pursued the ambition of bringing together these different research agendas. After an initial cycle of three years punctuated by numerous scientific meetings and collective projects, RESTEP invites you to its final conference, which will take place from May 19 to 20, 2020 in Brussels, in partnership with the Catholic University of Louvain and the Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles. For this conference, we are seeking contributions addressing the following four areas of reflection:

1) The politicization of non-majoritarian institutions

The European Commission, the European Court of Justice and the European Central Bank are non-majoritarian institutions: they rely on technocratic and legal expertise to serve public interest. However, scholars tend to observe increasing politicization of these institutions. What are the consequences of this evolution?

2) Politics and polities: representative institutions 

By contrast, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament are openly political. However, the extension of qualified majority voting (QMV) to new issue areas in the Council has encouraged the formation of coalitions between Member States. In Parliament, political groups are more and more disciplined. At the same time, the influence of interest groups and media keeps growing. Do these changes increase the level of political conflict within these institutions?

3) Perspectives on European politics and citizens

Referendums seem to have become the main obstacle to European integration, and the EU is now a polarizing issue in most domestic electoral arenas. Still, there is a lack of research on citizens’ representation and knowledge about the EU as a political object. Is the politicization of European issues likely to structure individual attitudes towards integration?

4) Forms of politicization and depoliticization of European public policies

The expansion of the competences of the European Union has led to the emergence of EU public policies as a proper subfield of study. What are the conflicts between actors, framings, uses and resources of European public policies, from decision-making to implementation phase? Is Europeanisation an agent of depoliticization of contemporary public problems (gender, ecology, migration, etc.)?

We welcome contributions at different stages of progress. We encourage proposals from students, doctoral students or more advanced scholars, especially collaborations between colleagues from different universities in the network. Abstracts from universities and external networks are also welcome. Transportation and accommodation are paid by RESTEP (within the limits of available funds).  Deadline to send abstracts (300 words, French or English) to Laurie Beaudonnet and Frederic Merand : January 30th 2020.  

Scientific Committee : Laurie Beaudonnet (UdeM), Hugo Canihac (USL-B), Juliette Dupont (UdeM), Claire Dupuy (UCLouvain), Clément Fontan (UCLouvain-USL-B), Sophie Jacquot (USL-B), Frédéric Mérand (UdeM), Virginie Van Ingelgom (UCLouvain).




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