WP3 Single Case Studies in 16 European Countries

MKB (Czech Academy), GD/AAL (Granada University), WD(FMSH)
Task Group:
All Partners

Single case studies include the EUROSPHERE partners’ (1) data collection activities in 16 European countries, (2) single-case data documentation, and (3) data summary. This will be conducted for each of the 16 countries included and organized by each partner in the countries where their institutions are located. The aim of these 16 country studies is to constitute the basis for the comparative studies to be conducted by research topics groups and the final comparative analyses to be performed.

WP3.1-3.4 Data Collection

EUROSPHERE will collect/deploy relevant data about the features of communicative public spaces, of social/political actors, and of individuals, whose effects will – at a later stage in the project – be measured on citizens’ involvement and the articulation of a European public sphere. EUROSPHERE will collect data in 16 countries. Martina Klicperova-Baker, Günther Dietz/ Aurora Alvarez, and Wanda Dressler will co-lead and coordinate this work, and they will ensure that the data collection work is done with respect to the guidelines decided and the data collection tools used effectively and correctly. They will also see to that the partners have a shared understanding of the variables along which the data collection is to be done.

Concerning data-collection about social/political actors, at least three social/political actors will be selected in each category (i.e., 3 think tanks, 3 political parties, 3 social movements, 3 media actors) in each of the sixteen countries. These social/political actors will be selected with respect to their orientations to different types of public spaces – i.e., each of the three selected social movements, for example, must be known to be part of a specific communicative public space type. This means that two social movements that are known to be oriented towards an essentialized space cannot be selected.

Concerning data collection about communicative public spaces, also here the units of observation are social/political actors; however, this time they are treated as sub-spaces of the communicative public spaces. Here, the key data collection activity will focus on the interrelationships and patterns/substance of interactions between the different types of social/political actors claiming to belong to or speaking on behalf of the same communicative public space (e.g., the substance/patterns of interaction between a political party, a social movement, a media actor, and a think tank). We will also collect data about the discourses of public sphere, citizenship, involvement, etc. of which social/political actors are a part of as well as data about the features of openness/closure in these communicative public spaces.

Further, data will be collected about the features of individuals who are associated with the five types of communicative public spaces through their engagement/involvement with different social/political actors. The data to be collected here concerns individuals’ involvement in political processes, their levels of co-otherness, patterns of multiple belonging, mobility patterns, patterns of multiple orientations to public spaces as well as the individuals’ relevant background.

Data about the responses/discourses of the three units of observation – individuals, actors, public spaces – towards the selected four issues will also be collected. To retrieve, data collection here will concern a set of selected European issues of theoretical and political interest that are tightly related to the formation of a European public sphere. These issues concern (1) the European Constitution, (2) (European) citizenship and identity, (3) mobility, migration, and asylum policies, (4) European enlargement.

The individual level data will be collected through fieldwork with structured, semi-structured and, where needed, open-ended interviews with persons who attend to different public spaces. All partners will conduct fieldwork in at least three different types of communicative public spaces. Concerning data about the features of social political actors, we will use both interviews with the organization leaders and written documents about their objectives, goals, programmes, etc.

The partners will deliver their collected data to the Coordinator in raw but systemized form. The raw data will be systemized as follows: Partners will provide an anonymized electronic register and a documentation of the collected data. A standard electronic data-registration tool, which is a part of the EUROSPHERE Database, will be prepared by UiB and NSD. The data collected through structured questionnaires will be entered into the EUROSPHERE database by the partners by using the standard codes provided in the data-registration tool. The transcripts of the interview data and institutional data will be systemized according to the guidelines prepared by the Consortium and delivered to the Coordinator as an electronic text document. The Coordinator will treat, standardize, and merge the data coming from the partners and send them further to the workpackage leaders who will conduct the cross-country comparative analyses.

WP3.5 Single-Case Data Documentation Activities

This project-component includes documentation of the data collected in each country according to the guidelines to be provided by the EUROSPHERE-Consortium. The aim is to constitute the basis for the comparative studies and the final analyses to be performed. The data to be documented and summarized on country-basis are (a) persons’ ability to think and act as co- Europeans, (b) features of communicative public spaces, (c) features of social and political actors, and (d) citizens’ involvement in political processes. The reports will also comprise information about the conditions and problems faced in the different phases of data collection, missing data, and a summary of the collected data. Each principal investigator has the responsibility to ensure that the data documentation is properly done with respect to the guidelines to be produced by the Coordinator in collaboration with the Executive Steering Committee. Martina Klicperova-Baker, Günther Dietz/Aurora Alvarez, and Wanda Dressler will coordinate this work.

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