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The Europe of ElitesA Study into the Europeanness of Europe's Political and Economic Elites$

Heinrich Best, György Lengyel, and Luca Verzichelli

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602315.001.0001

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(p.v) Series Editors’ Foreword

(p.v) Series Editors’ Foreword

The Europe of Elites
Oxford University Press

In a moment in which the EU is facing an important number of social, economic, political, and cultural challenges, and its legitimacy and democratic capacities are increasingly questioned, it seems particularly important to address the issue of if and how EU citizenship is taking shape. This series intends to address this complex issue. It reports the main results of a quadrennial Europe-wide research project, financed under the Sixth Framework Programme of the EU. That programme has studied the changes in the scope, nature, and characteristics of citizenship presently underway as a result of the process of deepening and enlargement of the European Union.

The IntUne Project––Integrated and United: A Quest for Citizenship in an Ever Closer Europe––is one of the most recent and ambitious research attempts to empirically study how citizenship is changing in Europe. The Project lasted four years (2005–2009) and it involved thirty of the most distinguished European universities and research centres, with more than 100 senior and junior scholars as well as several dozen graduate students working on it. It had as its main focus an examination of how integration and decentralization processes, at both the national and European level, are affecting three major dimensions of citizenship: identity, representation, and scope of governance. It looked, in particular, at the relationships between political, social, and economic elites, the general public, policy experts and the media, whose interactions nurture the dynamics of collective political identity, political legitimacy, representation, and standards of performance.

In order to address empirically these issues, the IntUne Project carried out two waves of mass and political, social, and economic elite surveys in 18 countries, in 2007 and 2009; in-depth interviews with experts in five policy areas; extensive media analysis in four countries; and a documentary analysis of attitudes towards European integration, identity, and citizenship. The book series presents and discusses in a coherent way the results coming out of this extensive set of new data.

The series is organized around the two main axes of the IntUne Project, to report how the issues of identity, representation, and standards of good governance are constructed and reconstructed at the elite and citizen levels, and how mass–elite interactions affect the ability of elites to shape identity, representation, and the scope of governance. A first set of four books will (p.vi) examine how identity, scope of governance, and representation have been changing over time at elites, media, and public level, respectively. The next two books will present cross-level analysis of European and national identity on the one hand and problems of national and European representation and scope of governance on the other, in doing so comparing data at both the mass and elite level. A concluding volume will summarize the main results, framing them in a wider theoretical context.

M.C. and P.I.