Practicing EU Government

Europa Institute Seminar Series

Practicing EU Government: Problematisation, Mobilisation and Legitimation

Staff from the Europa Institute (Caitríona Carter), the School of Social and Political Science (Richard Freeman) and the Centre for Educational Sociology (Martin Lawn) organised a seminar series, funded by the Europa Institute, on: Practicing EU Government: Problematisation, Mobilisation, Legitimation. This series brought together a group of scholars seeking to engage and take a lead in debates to consolidate a ‘political sociological' approach to EU studies.

To provide direction and focus, we critically appraised the 'distinctiveness' of political sociology's application to EU government in two concrete ways: First, regarding the object of study, we asked a sociology of 'what'? Second, regarding methodological tools, we asked 'how' to study 'government' as a set of institutionalising regulatory practices and interactions, instruments and ideas. Our discussions were organised in five half-day seminars centred upon cross-cutting debates within political sociology and as applied to 'practicing EU government'. Each seminar was led by an invited external speaker, followed by papers from Europa/Edinburgh colleagues. All seminars were held throughout 2009, to maximise the intensity and continuity of the discussions.


Introductory Seminar – 20 February 2009

Practicing EU Government: Why 'Political Sociology'?

Lead Speaker

Dr Andy Smith (Sciences Po Bordeaux)
Studying the Government of the EU: The Promise of Political Sociology

Chair

Dr Richard Freeman University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 1 – 20 March 2009

A Sociology of What?

What are the objects – material, technical, legal, political – of a critical/interpretive sociology of EU government? How should we think about 'practices' in terms of their domains, spaces, objects, subjects, processes and systems of operation?

External Speaker

Prof Craig Parsons (University of Oregon)

Chair

Dr Caitríona Carter (University of Edinburgh)

Internal Speakers

Dr Caitríona Carter (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Martin Lawn (University of Edinburgh)

Chair

Dr Richard Freeman (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 2 – 6 May 2009

Problematisation

How are problems of and for EU government identified? How are they constructed and reconstructed as objects/sites of discussion and prospective intervention? How do changes in ideas affect changes in EU practice?

External Speaker

Prof Cris Shore (University of Auckland)

Chair

Dr Martin Lawn (University of Edinburgh)

Internal Speakers

Dr Christina Boswell (University of Edinburgh)
Diego de la Hoz del Hoyo (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Sotiria Grek (University of Edinburgh)

Chair

Dr Caitríona Carter (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 3 – 9 October 2009

Mobilisation

Which networks and associations, meetings, seminars and workshops bring actors together? What do they do when they meet? What processes of learning and socialisation do such networks entail? What connections and relationships do they form with each other?

External Speaker

Dr Virginie Guiraudon (CNRS Lille)

Chair

Dr Christina Boswell (University of Edinburgh)

Internal Speakers

Rosalind Cavaghan (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Ailsa Henderson (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Irvine Lapsley (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Richard Freeman (University of Edinburgh)

Chair

Dr Martin Lawn (University of Edinburgh)


Seminar 4 – 23 October 2009

Legitimation

How are claims for action made plausible and legitimate? How are issues of representation and accountability realised and resolved? What cognitive resources are deployed by actors to legitimise EU action and alliance building?

External Speaker

Dr Chris Rumford (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Chair

Dr Andy Smith (Sciences Po Bordeaux)

Internal Speakers

Prof Jenny Ozga (University of Edinburgh)
Farah Shaik (University of Edinburgh)
Prof Richard Sparks (University of Edinburgh)

Chair

Dr Richard Freeman (University of Edinburgh)