European Citizens in the Anti-TTIP-Protests

Project description

Doctoral thesis from Nora Schröder


TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the US, caused a broad and quick politization of the European civil society. From 2014 to 2016, we witnessed this politization articulated and performed in European-wide protests against the TTIP-negotiations.

When Trump was elected, talks over TTIP stalled. Although the trade deal was not implemented for the time being, it is worth studying the European-wide protests against TTIP as an example of a civic democratization of EUrope from bottom-up.

In my dissertation, I am paticularly interested in the empowerment, participation and identity building processes of European citizens and I study the Anti-TTIP-protests from a Civic Studies perspective. From this point of view, the conflict surrounding TTIP had stimulating effects on EUropean democracy: European citizens mobilized around the topic of TTIP, signed petitions, filed a lawsuit against the European Commission, established transnational networks, came together in European Days of Action, exchanged ideas on alternative economic trade policy, went on the streets demonstrating - in other words: European citizens were politicized. In this contentious European protest action, they articulated their understanding of what it means for them to be European citizen. In my work, I seek to reconstruct such processes of political subjectivation based on the protestors’ experiences in the European protest actions to stop TTIP.

If the EU wants to solve its so-called “democratic crisis”, this is where it must start. To improve the democratic politics in the EU, it is exactly the relation between the EU and its citizens which, in my view, will be the crucial question that will determine the future of the European project. Great potential lies in active European citizens who identify with European policies and who are ready to go on the streets in collective European protest.


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Contact Person

wissenschafltiche Mitarbeiterin
Politikwissenschaft, Friedens- und Konfliktforschung