Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Posting from Brussels

If I’ve been a bit quiet recently, it’s because I’ve been insanely busy. This is being written from a hotel alongside the European Parliament buildings in Brussels. I’m slightly tipsy on free wine, and yet rather wishing I was back in Blighty, tucked up in bed with a nice single malt and awaiting tomorrow’s France/England semi-final grudge match with relish, rather than with the vague trepidation that I might miss it.

Anyway, I’ve been covering my escapades today over at dLiberation – and excitement they do make. As such:

Off to Brussels – this morning’s confusion. Random quote: “I’ve still had no confirmation that I’m registered to attend, and have had no confirmation of the schedule, location, or anything”

On not having the foggiest – written on Eurostar on the way over. Random quote: “the events of the coming weekend remain about as clear to me as the view from the train”

Utterly unscientific first impressions – written from the bowels of the European Parliament’s press room. Random quote: “A form of torture by multilingualism.”4

Other than that, there’s been some good stuff on dLiberation over the last few days, if I say so myself (to those who aren’t aware, that’s what I’ve been busy editing for openDemocracy for the last few weeks). To wit:

A real compromise on the EU presidency – the first of a four-part series from the Director of the European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford

The cosmopolitan problem – a look at European identity from Our Kingdom editor Jon Bright

The problems of deliberative polls: legitimacy – another critique from Professor Lupia of the University of Michigan

“The Linchpin of democratic consent” – something from me on William Hague’s speech to the Tory Party Conference

The purpose of deliberative democracy, part 2 – legitimacy – more from Professor Thompson of Harvard and Dr Guttmann of the University of Pennsylavnia

The EU and national identity, part 1 – something from me on, well, the EU and national identity…

Democracy for the sake of it? – the first part of a series on how the European Parliament functions, from Paul Davies – a fellow Sharpener type, and formerly of the Electoral Reform Society’s Make My Vote Count blog

Deliberative democracy: pros and cons – a handy overview from Professor John Gastil of the University of Washington, the editor of The Deliberative Democracy Handbook

The European Commission’s communications headache – the Commission’s new communications strategy in brief

Democracy’s risky return – Dr ian O’Flynn, Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Newcastle, on the deliberative democracy debate

Why the nation state? – a brief piece by me on a pet topic – why are we so obsessed with national boundaries for units of governance?

A discovery about the European public sphere – me again on an interesting statistic that suggests there’s more of a European demos than we’d been led to believe

Deliberative democracy and efficiency – 30-year veteran of the European Commission and Visiting Professor at the Central European University in Budapest Thomas Glaser looks to history for some clues about the chances of deliberative democracy making an impact

The purpose of deliberative democracy, part 3: public spirit – Professor Thompson and Dr Guttmann return with more easy-to-understand political theory

The subsidiarity problem, part 1 – something from me at an idea that’s meant to lie at the heart of the EU, but rarely seems to

Decisions must be taken as closely as possible to the citizen” – more on subsidiarity’s failings

The purpose of deliberative democracy, part 4: respect – Thompson and Guttmann’s penultimate part

“Substantially different” vs. “Substantially equivalent” – who’s right on the Reform Treaty, the government or the European Scrutiny Committee? I have a quick gander

Democracy for the sake of it? Part 2 – Paul Davies returns with more accessible European Parliament goodness

The EU in microcosm? Comparing the Tomorrow’s Europe poll with another recent investigation – which revealed something I reckon’s rather significant

The purpose of deliberative democracy – conclusion – Professor Thompson and Dr Guttmann wrap up

Trying to bridge the gap – Tip-top Poland blogger The Beatroot on the clash between local, national and European concerns

Two days to go – the topics for discussion – some oddness in the Tomorrow’s Europe poll’s focus

Citizens’ consultations or deliberative polls? – The organiser of the British wing of last spring’s UK citizen consultation weighs up the pros and cons

Publicity, apathy and ignorance – Me on the problem of creating effective PR campaigns for EU initiatives

The problems of deliberative polls: effects – Professor Lupia returns

The problems of deliberative polls: Representativeness – Professor Lupia identifies more potential pitfalls

Deliberative polls: the basics – Professors Fishkin and Luskin outline their technique

Deliberative polls: Representativeness – Professors Fishkin and Luskin again

Deliberative polling: Practicalities – Professors Fishkin and Luskin once again, wrapping up their overview

See? I’ve been a busy boy.

One Comment

  1. I’d like to read that deliberative democracy stuff on OpenDemocracy, but the coding on the site seems to have gone all to cock. From what I *can* see, the drawback is the lack of a ‘vision thing’ – can a polity persue a stragegy (as Europe has done since the war) when it’s policies are made in an ad-hoc way (albeit one that approximates to a better version of public opinion than most).

    And is that a good thing? (I don’t think so).