Forms of Legitimization of EU Public Action

Catégorie :Appels à communication

Date :du vendredi, 20 avril 2018 à 09:00 au vendredi, 20 avril 2018 à 20:00

Date limite : lundi, 15 janvier 2018

Lieu :Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (France)

Contact :

Source: Lola Avril (

Résumé :

This workshop focuses on the various forms of legitimization of European public policies. The goal is to analyse mobilizations that aim to promote, justify and ensure acceptance of European public action . Special attention will be paid to transversal studies .

Détails :

Call for Papers
Forms of legitimization of EU Public Action
GrUE (Groupe de recherche sur l’Union Européenne) de l’AFSP

Lola Avril, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne / CESSP ; Université Paris Dauphine / IRISSO.
Yohann Morival, Université de Lille / CERAPS.

This workshop focuses on the various forms of legitimization of European public policies. The goal is to analyse mobilizations that aim to promote, justify and ensure acceptance of European public action . Special attention will be paid to transversal studies .
This call for papers raises several issues: some scholars have argued that inter-sectorial mediations were weak at the European level, but where do trans-sectorial intermediaries stand in EU public action? Do these actors and the forms of legitimization they carry differ depending on the sectors of public action? How can European, national or even local legitimacies to act on European issues can be articulated?
In addition to these discussions regarding policies that aim to improve the legitimacy of the European Union , the focus on public action allows to tackle three different research questions. First, it raises the question of the actors who operate during the processes of agenda-setting, framing, policy formulation and implementation of European public policies. Far from limiting the study to European Commissioners or high-ranking officials, the workshop intends to document the diversity of actors who operate in multiple environments (academic, administrative, journalistic…) and at different scales of action (local, national, European, international) .
The analysis of the circulation of actors could be a way to examine how European public action legitimacy is produced. It helps to understand social interactions between sectors and to seize the “collusive transactions” .
Secondly, special attention can be paid to the kind of knowledge used by these actors. Scholars already have demonstrated the key place of expertise in European public action but does the value of the different types of knowledge vary depending on the sector and the scales of public action? Such a questioning leads to seize the competition for the production of a dominant discourse that legitimizes EU action .
Finally, papers can focus on the functioning of European organizations and institutions. Decision-making processes in place in these institutions have an impact on the legitimization of European public policies . Legitimacies to address European issues are also diverse in local, national and European organizations .
Hence, the aim of the workshop is not to understand how European public action becomes legitimate (a linear approach that fails to include competitions and oppositions) but rather to address this question through the diversity of resources that can be mobilised, spaces that can be targeted (sectorial, European, national or local) and modes of opposition.

Three lines of research will structure the workshop:

1. Expertise, values and knowledge in the legitimization of European public action
The first line of research deals with trans-sectorial approaches of European public action. It aims at complementing studies regarding sectorial networks of public action by providing comparative studies between sectors. More specifically, a particular attention paid to trans-sectorial intermediaries of European public policies could help to better understand the different forms of legitimization. Lawyers, economists, lobbyists, and national or European officials make European public action possible, because they help in its formulation or implementation.
The key place of technical expertise and knowledge has been widely studied , but there are still very few materials on how these resources are valued differently from sector to sector.
What are the forms of expertise that are the most valued in each sector or organization? Are there sectors where technical expertise is not a sufficient resource?
To tackle these questions, papers can focus on forms of legitimization that have seldom been studied: the mobilization of “European values”, the need to take into account “the European civil society” , the institutionalisation of neo-liberal ideas , or even the place granted to religion .

2. Studying the fringes of European public action
The second line of research aims at better understanding European public action through the prism of the “small Europe entrepreneurs” or actors acting in the fringes of “Eurocracy” . Unlike European Commissioners and high officials, who take directly part in the legitimization of European public action , these actors don’t have a key position in this process. Still, they can, through their participation in the decision-making process, redefine and reframe the ways European public policies are legitimated.
Three types of actors can be identified, without pretending to be exhaustive. First, there are actors in Brussels who do not have sufficient resources to access the decision-making process . Second, there are actors who act in the periphery of the European institutions but contribute to the legitimization of the EU by explaining and disseminating its policies . Finally, some are involved in European issues intermittently (for example some journalists , academic scholars).

3. European, national and local legitimacies to act on European issues
The final line of research invites to look at interrelationships between scales of action in the legitimization of European public action. What is at stake is twofold: first, an actor-centred approach could help to understand how these scales of action are embedded and shed the light on the various legitimacies claimed by actors at the local, national and European levels . At each level, actors mobilize different resources to act upon European issues. Competing or complementary legitimacies help understanding the logics and constraints behind the circulations of these actors. Second, a study of the reception of European public policies by the citizens may also be useful.

Proposal submission
Paper proposals must me sent to and It should include the title of the paper, the name of the contributor, his affiliation, the methodology used and the line of research it can be attached. Paper proposals should not exceed 350 words.

Deadline for sending paper proposals : 15 January 2018
Decision on selected papers : 22 January 2018
Workshop : 20 April 2018
The workshop will take place at the University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne.