July 4, 2012 - Training

Les citoyens contre l’Europe ?

Fifty-five years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the "permissive consensus" noted by Léon Lindberg and Stuart Scheingold in the 1970s appears to be in retreat. Far from providing tacit support to the integration process set in place by their governments, a growing number of citizens of the Old Continent appear today to be calling the very legitimacy of the European project into question. Observers point to weak turnout rates in European elections, the failure of the Constitutional Treaty and the rise of extremise "Eurosceptic" parties as indicators of a growing defiance on the part of citizens toward a European Union that is scorned for its democratic deficit and liberal outlook. This conference aims to question the basis for, and the relevance of, the widely held view today that the European Union is in the midst of a crisis of legitimacy.


Cédric Pellen is a post-doctoral researcher at the European Union Center of Excellence (UdeM-McGill) and an associate researcher at the Centre Émile Durkheim (Sciences Po Bordeaux). He has taught at the University of Warsaw, Sciences Po Bordeaux, Université Paris 13, Université Paris Dauphine, Université Laval in Quebec City and at the Université de Montréal. His research, which has lead to many publications, deals mainly with mass mobilizations, "populist" parties, the structuring of political competition in "post-communist" Central Europe and the eastern expansion of the European Union.


Raul Magni Berton est professeur de science politique à Science Po Grenoble et chercheur à PACTE. Ses recherches sont essentiellement en politique comparée et en comportement électoral. Il a récemment co-dirigé les volumes Euroscepticism. Images of Europe among Mass Public and Political Elites, Opladen : Barbara Budrich, 2009 et Choix publics : Analyse économique des décisions publiques, Bruxelles, Deboeck, 2010 et il a publié Démocraties Libérales. Le pouvoir des citoyens dans les pays européens, Paris, Economica, 2012. (Pacte – Politique & Organisations, IEP de Grenoble, BP 48, 38040 Grenoble cedex 9 - raul.magni-berton@iep-grenoble.fr).


To download the presentation, please click here.


Mandatory readings:

  • Lubbers, Marcel et Peer Scheepers. 2005. « Political Versus Instrumental Euro-Scepticism. Mapping Scepticism in European Countries and Regions ». European Union Politics, vol 2, n°6, 223-242.
  • Bouillaud, Christophe. 2011. « L’Euroscepticisme n’est-il qu’un mot ? ». Politique Européenne, vol 2, n°34, 243-254.
  • Schmidt, Vivien. 2007. « L’Union européenne créé-t-elle ou détruit-elle la démocratie ? ». Politique étrangère, n°3, 517-528.

Suggested readings:

  • Costa, Olivier and Paul Magnette (dir.). 2007. Une Europe des élites ? Réflexions sur la fracture démocratique de l’Union européenne. Bruxelles:Editions de l’ULB.

This conference is part of the Summer School «Europe in crises» (2-7 July 2012).

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Université de Montréal - McGill University