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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 20 - 2013, No. 3

Remote, Elitist, or Non-existent?: The European Public Sphere in the Debates of British Political Elites

, , pages: 23-38

This paper looks at how British political elites discuss the European public sphere and citizens’ participation within it. Drawing on 41 in-depth interviews with political elites – including politicians at national and European levels, journalists, political activists, and think-tank professionals – the paper explores interviewees’ understandings of the European public sphere, and their perceptions about its vitality. Our research reveals a great deal of scepticism about the idea of a European public sphere, in part rooted in conventional British Euro-sceptic approaches, and in part fostered by a perception of the remoteness and democratic deficit of the European Union.

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