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“Citizens talking about Europe”: Why did we Ask, What did we Learn?

Sophie Duchesne
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Sophie Duchesne
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Virginie Van Ingelgom
Université catholique de Louvain

Abstract

At the end of the 1990's, after four decades of Eurobarometer analysis, European studies experienced a qualitative turn. This resulted in a growing gap between the results obtained by the qualitative studies on one hand and the quantitative studies on the other. Moreover, this gap cannot simply be reduced to an opposition of epistemology – although this plays an obvious part in it. It also says something about the nature of the issues relating to European integration – that is, what we talk about when we talk about Europe in social sciences. This reflection is based on a research project, published recently in collaboration with E. Frazer and F. Haegel, which aimed to have citizens in Paris, Oxford and Brussels talking about Europe.