A critical assessment of the European Commission’s civil society discourse and the social platform of European NGOs

Kutay, Rıza Acar
The dissertation engages in a critical analysis of the involvement of the Brusselsbased European NGOs in European governance. It conducts a survey on the European Commission’s relevant initiatives after the 1990s and interrogates the implications of these initiatives on one of the prominent European NGO network, the Social Platform of European NGOs. The common understanding conceives of these organizations as conducive to democratization of EU governance within the scope of participatory democracy. However, I endeavour to argue that the Commission has had an aim to make use of the civil society discourse for its institutional interests, while intentionally and unintentionally shaping (and reshaping) civic action in Europe. Participatory democracy project, which is promoted by the Commission, can be seen as a deliberate venture of shaping civic action and state-society relationships in Europe. With respect to this goal, it has encouraged the Social Platform to act like its interlocutor vis-à-vis the NGO community organised both at national and European level. Deriving from the Foucaultian concept of governmentality, I inquiry into the effects of this discourse on the Social Platform, which has been particularly created by the Commission to disperse the participatory democracy and good governance discourse in Europe.


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Citation Formats
R. A. Kutay, “A critical assessment of the European Commission’s civil society discourse and the social platform of European NGOs,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.