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Public narratives of European Citizenship – the dialogical citizen in theEuropean Public Sphere

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Kesi Mahendran, Ima Jackson and Anubhuti Kapoor


This chapter uses the ideational site of European Citizenship in contribution to

articulating the mechanisms of discursive governance. It focuses on one central

challenge, that is, the development of the substantial figure of a dialogical citizen,

embodied, relational, dynamic, and compelled to act. Understanding this figure

provides one answer to a key question for discursive governance – in what ways do

political discourses resonate within some quarters of the public sphere and in others

they are resisted. To answer this question, as this book is demonstrating, is a matter of

the bi-directional mechanisms by which political discourses move between political

actors, institutional scaffolding, policy implementation and the public sphere. Our

focus in this chapter relates specifically to examining the different ways the public

sphere can be understood. How are publics and their opinions conceptualised or

perhaps more critically – how do publics constitute themselves?

Following Beland and Cox who state, ‘there is no politics without human

agency’ (Beland and Cox 2012, 12) we privilege the microlevel choices people make,

their sense of agency and their identifications.

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