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Centrifugal Europe: State, Sovereignty and the future of European integration

A UACES Research Network (2013-2016)


European integration reflects patterns of governance that both challenge traditional understandings of state sovereignty and reinforce public concerns over the European citizens' role in governance. The current European crisis not only continues to bring such concerns to the surface at state and sub-state level, but is also mobilizing citizens who have faced or face increasing difficulties in relating to the EU's processes of political, economic and societal integration. Most recently three types of centrifugal politics have gained particular strength: the open talk of a multispeed Europe focusing on nation-states; reinforced regional self-governance movements from Scotland to Catalonia, from Flanders to Bavaria and Upper Silesia; and social movements and parties boldly contesting the accountability and legitimacy of the political establishment, e.g. Greece's Golden Dawn and Germany's Pirates. This network looks at overlapping dynamics of these recent developments by putting state, sovereignty and multi-level governance at the crux of the European integration process. Thus, the network reflects on the programmatic and organisational challenges of European integration at three complementary levels of analysis (state, region, society) where we observe a reversal of the centripetal political dynamics of past decades