Engagement in political discussion is now seen as a crucial element of political engagement and a condition of meaningful citizen participation. But it must be recognised that when a discussion turns 'political' citizens are taking risks - of entering into conflict, of disclosing aspects of identity and belief which open up difference from others, and of engaging emotion in a way that makes one vulnerable in social settings. Focus groups in Oxford, Paris and Brussels were conducted in the period 2005-2006. The work builds on advanced techniques of focus group conduct and data analysis developed by Sophie Duchesne and Florence Haegel. Funding for the project is held jointly by Sciences Po Paris, University of Louvain; and University of Oxford. This project explores ‘European citizenship’ understood as European citizens’ understanding and evaluation as well as their capacities and strategies for engaging in political discussion on this subject with their fellows. The research will contribute to understanding of the complexity of citizens’ engagement with a developing European public. It will also contribute to understanding the dynamic relationship between conflict, deliberation, and disengagement in public settings.
For further details about the project, please visit the CITAE website : http://oxpo.politics.ox.ac.uk/projects/discussion_political/index.asp