Opportunity Structure for Citizens’ Participation in A European Network Civil Society
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited (2009)
ISBN print: 9781849506076
Against the backdrop of the "democratic deficit" and the lack of legitimacy characterizing the EU's political construction, this article proposes a theoretical perspective allowing analyzing the processes by which a European public sphere and a European civil society develop.
The article explores the hypothesis of the emergence of a new post-national model of citizenship linked to the European construction and focuses on the role played by civil society in the emergence of such a model.
Civil society organizations and the networks linking them are seen a shaping the opportunity structure enabling citizens' participation in European policy making through civil society organizations. Civil society is conceived as a political sub-system composed of networks linking European civil society organizations across national boundaries, levels of governance, and policy domains.
Citizens' participation opportunities and the level of Europeanization of civil society appear, from this viewpoint, not as a result of the development of a supra-national civil society but as dependent on the structure constituted by the networks linking national and European civil society organizations across national boundaries, levels of governance, and policy domains.