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LSEE is part of the LSE's European Institute, a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence


Public lecture

Democratization, European Integration, and Identity:
Attitudes towards the EU across the EU member states and the Western Balkans


Monday, 20 November 2017

Time 6:00 - 7:30pm

Cañada Blanch Room, (COW 1.11),  1st floor, Cowdray House, LSE, London WC2A 2AE 


Dr Simona Guerra, LSEE Visiting Fellow; Associate Professor in Politics, University of Leceister
Dr Charlotte Galpin, Lecturer in German and European Politics, University of Birmingham
Dr Aleksandra Sojka, Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Social Sciences, University Carlos III Madrid

Chair Dr Claire Gordon, Head of LSE Teaching and Learning Centre

The scope of this panel is to examine changing attitudes towards the European Union (EU), addressing three different questions, ‘How do attitudes change across public opinion?’, ‘How do attitudes towards migrants relate to the process of EU integration?’, and ‘How and why does the effect of the recent crisis differ between countries?’. Previous research examined changes before and after joining the EU across the post-communist region and showed that membership was not considered in terms of the complexities of standardization towards EU norms. While the standard assumption in the academic discourse is that Europeanization enhances democracy in candidate countries by strengthening key democratic features (such as helping establish a vibrant civil society, the rule of law, minority rights, good governance, accountability and governmental transparency), this panels explores determinants of attitudes towards EU integration and different experiences. The literature mainly focuses on party level Euroscepticism, as opposition to the EU, but it is fundamental to examine public attitudes at a critical time for the EU, challenged by the recent economic crisis, confronted by the debates following the British referendum (23rd June 2016), divided on the refugee crisis, and under threat after the recent terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe itself (in Paris, on the 13th November 2015, and in Berlin, on the 19th December 2016), and more recent cases in the UK. The analysis will illustrate different national cases and comparative studies of Ireland, Germany, Poland, Croatia and Serbia, to offer preliminary conclusions in comparative perspective.

Speakers' biographies

Simona Guerra Profile PictureDr Simona Guerra is currently a LSEE Visiting Fellow and Associate Professor in Politics at the School of History, Politics & International Relations, University of Leicester. Her main research interest is in attitudes towards the European Union. How the latter change before and after joining the EU was was the study subject in her first monograph, Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), journal articles (Journal of Common Market Studies, The Journal of Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Perspectives on European Politics and Society), and volume contributions. Simona has recently published a co-edited book (with Manuela Caiani), Euroscepticism, Democracy and the Media. Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe (Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology, 2017) and during her time at the LSEE she is completing her second monograph on Religion and Euroscepticism in Post-Communist Europe (Routledge).

s200_charlotte_galpinDr Charlotte Galpin is Lecturer in German and European Politics at the University of Birmingham. Since 2015, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen where she has been researching the role of the media in amplifying Euroscepticism. She has also been a teaching fellow at the University of Bath, and completed her PhD at the Institute for German Studies, POLSIS, in 2014. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science at the Free University Berlin, and the Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies at the University of Wrocław, Poland. Dr Galpin is currently working on a new project on EU citizenship, online mobilisation and Brexit, and as well as analysing German perceptions of Brexit.

Aleksandra-Sojka-4-2017_04_25-croppedDr Aleksandra Sojka is Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Social Sciences at the University Carlos III in Madrid. Before joining the Department she has been a Visiting Scholar at The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) at Harvard University (2016/2017), and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science of the University of Granada. Her principal research interests lie in the area of EU politics, comparative European politics, and political sociology of European integration. She focuses on political identities and attitudes towards the European Union and explores the role of public opinion and elite positions in the process of integration. She is also interested in the impact of transnational mobility on identities and the development of European citizenship.

claire-gordonDr Claire Gordon is Head of LSE Teaching and Learning Centre. She has been working as a Teaching Fellow in East European Politics at the European Institute of LSE since 2003 and prior to that as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Government. She holds a MSc from the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham and a D.Phil from St Antony’s College, Oxford University on 'The Politics of Economic Policy-Making in the Soviet Union from 1988-1991'.
Her research interests include the EU’s eastward enlargement, minority policy and the role of conditionality; conflict management in post-communist states and the role of international organisations; and processes of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe.

This event is free and open to all, however, seats are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.




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