The Challenge

After content title
Before content body

COST Action CA 16211 RECAST

Reappraising Intellectual Debates on Civic Rights and Democracy in Europe


➢ Imagining the relations of civic rights and democracy as self-evident, or even unproblematic, disregards their plural argumentative uses, the dissensual features of their conceptual and institutional relationships, their national legal and political traditions both divergent and intertwining, and the many obstacles that hinder their common fulfilments in practice.

➢ Those conditions pose a political challenge to European democracies. They also question the reformist capacity of intellectual debates whose character and value are usually seen as hardly relevant to European politics. The COST Action aims at recasting the interface between intellectual debates, public debates, politics, and policy action with the contributions of more argumentatively- and historically-oriented social science accounts and better institutionally-, politically- and legally-informed humanities research.

➢ Ever since the nineties, the reactions to the growing conflicting claims on civic rights of individuals and groups in secularized societies framing new forms of ethnic, religious, and civil diversity, have been theorized largely in unrelated spheres. In social sciences, responses range from empirical-quantitative to legal and social theory studies, whereas in humanities the leading approaches extend from political and social history to cultural studies to moral and political philosophy. Very rarely have responses been produced by humanities’ and social sciences’ joint approaches.

➢ By advancing this form of cooperative research, the Action seeks to bridge the gap that separates politics and policy action from humanities and social science research, and then provide new insights into the links (theoretical, political, and institutional) between civic rights and democracy in Europe. Widening their interpretive outlook and deepening their transnational understanding become constructive conditions to engage scholars as well as journalists and social and political agents in the Action to reappraise intellectual debates on the intricate relations between civic rights and the practices of democracy in Europe.


After content body