The Making of a European Public Space: The Case of Justice and Home Affairs

Klaus Eder and Hans‐Jörg Trenz

in Linking EU and National Governance

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199252268
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601040 | DOI:
 The Making of a European Public Space: The Case of Justice and Home Affairs

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Chapter 6 sets out to explain the dynamics of multi-level governance as regards the evolution of forms of public communication and the making of a European public sphere. The central theoretical concern is discussed with empirical reference to core areas of governance in the fields of justice and home affairs. So far, research has mainly taken an intergovernmentalist perspective, which fails to explain the institutional dynamics of intensifying cooperation in these fields which is slowly integrating the ‘European security community’ into an encom-passing ‘area of justice, freedom and rights’. The intergovernmentalist account neglects two significant factors: first, that governments act within an expanding transnational field made up of norms, discourses and institutions that increasingly constrain their action. Second, competitive actors within the field are more and more linked to public monitoring of their activities. Consequently, the transnational field is transformed into a public space attended by different audiences with shifting attention and expectations. The term ‘transnational resonance structures’ is introduced to account for the integration and legitimation of forms of ‘loose coupling’ between international, European and domestic politics as the organizing principle of governance in Europe.

Keywords: multi-level governance; public communication; European public sphere; justice and home affairs; transnational resonance structures; loose coupling

Chapter.  9815 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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