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The European Public Sphere

From Critical Thinking to Responsible Action

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Edited By Luciano Morganti and Léonce Bekemans

The development of a fully fledged European Public Sphere is seen by many as the solution to the legitimation crisis the European Union is suffering today. It is conceived as a space in which a Europe-wide debate about the current economic, social and political crises can take place and through which solutions can be developed.
This book proposes a new multi-disciplinary approach to discuss the European Public Sphere, arguing that it should be approached as a complex and interlinking concept, considering issues such as identity, citizenship building and multi-level governance structures and actors, and that it should not be analysed merely from the traditional perspectives of information and communication policies.
The volume presents both academic papers and more policy-oriented contributions, offering perspectives from scholars, politicians, consultants and administrators to give the reader a truly multidisciplinary understanding of the European Public Sphere.

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FOREWORD: European Communication Scholars, European Public Sphere - François Heinderyckx

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15 Foreword European Communication Scholars, European Public Sphere The European Public Sphere is at the junction of numerous facets of communication science. It’s no wonder that the conference behind this publication involved three different thematic sections of ECREA (Inter- national and Intercultural Communication, Journalism Studies and Communication Law and Policy). It shows how communication science approaches complex objects by mobilising multidisciplinary tools and competences. It is also a sure sign that communication is not so much a discipline as it is a specific, multifaceted view on issues and topics, which involve communication phenomena. ECREA is an academic association, grouping nearly 3,000 scholars from across Europe and beyond. Its membership and structure reflects the diversity of communication scholarship. The academic background of its members is varied – they join ECREA because they recognise themselves as doing “communication research”, regardless of whether they hold a degree in communications or not. ECREA thus combines at least three levels of diversity: objects studied, disciplines and methods used and national backgrounds with their corresponding academic traditions. In many ways, ECREA forms a sort of European academic public sphere in its own right. It is a rallying structure for scholars who feel they share common goals, practices and methods. It is a forum to ex- change and debate, offer and demand. It is a venue to meet and create, to build and consolidate, to expose and disseminate. ECREA has devel- oped structures, rules, procedures and artefacts to give life to this public sphere and to enable...

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