Building a Composite Polity: Popular Contention in the European Union

Sidney Tarrow
Content Type
Working Paper
Institute for European Studies at Cornell University
While much research has focussed on the interest group process growing up around the institutions of European union, far less attention has been given to the contentious forms of politics appearing at the base of the process of European integration. Part of the problem lies in models of integration that either focus on single levels of the European Union — states or supranational entities — or on vertical policy networks and domains. But another important part results from the difficulty of systematically analyzing the reactions of ordinary people to EU directives. This paper both reports on a new, computer-assisted method of studying European contentious politics and draws on a case study of recent industrial conflict to demonstrate how supranational actors, national political elites, domestic social actors and the press are beginning to interact to produce a composite — and contentious — European polity.
Political Geography