Recasting the Role of Citizens in Foreign and Security Policy? Democratic Innovations and Changing Patterns of Interaction between European Executives and Citizes

For the last decade, European democracies have witnessed several instances of a previously unknown involvement of citizens in political issues with a global dimension. Politicians and members of national executives in Europe have started to actively engage citizens in policy- and decision-making processes in the field of foreign and security policy (FSP). In fact, some governments, as well as international organisations such as the European Union (EU), have been initiating dialogue and participation processes, aiming at a larger inclusion of civic organisations, scientific experts and, remarkably, ordinary citizens in FSP.

The project investigates this change of the role of citizens in the field of FSP. More specifically, it reconstructs how and why national governments introduce democratic innovations (DIs) to this policy field, usually considered as being dominated by the executive. It is assumed that understandings of how relations between the executive and citizens should be organised, as held by ministerial elites in FSP, have changed in some countries during the last decade. These changes of the citizen’s role also have ramifications for the politics in FSP, notably the intra- and inter-ministerial processes of policy- and decision-making, as well as relations between the executive and legislative in this policy field.

In order to analyse why executive actors (do not) offer DIs, a small-n and cross-national comparative method is applied. The executive-citizens relations in FSP are empirically captured and theoretically conceptualised by comparing the cases of France, Germany, Poland, and the UK.

This project is conducted jointly with Anna Geis and Christian Opitz. Detailed information can be found in the project description.

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Engaging with Public Opinion at the Micro-Level: Citizen Dialogue and Participation in German Foreign Policy | 2022

Opitz, Christian/Pfeifer, Hanna/Geis, Anna (2022): Engaging with Public Opinion at the Micro-Level: Citizen Dialogue and Participation in German Foreign Policy, in: Foreign Policy Analysis, 18:1, 1-20, DOI: 10.1093/fpa/orab033.

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2
Deliberating Foreign Policy: Perceptions and Effects of Citizen Participation in Germany | 2020

Pfeifer, Hanna/Opitz, Christian/Geis, Anna (2020): Deliberating Foreign Policy: Perceptions and Effects of Citizen Participation in Germany, in: German Politics, https://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/81314, DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2020.1786058.

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3
Deutsche Verantwortung in der „Mitte der Gesellschaft“ aushandeln? Über Politisierung und Entpolitisierung der deutschen Außenpolitik | 2017

Geis, Anna/Pfeifer, Hanna (2017): Deutsche Verantwortung in der „Mitte der Gesellschaft“ aushandeln? Über Politisierung und Entpolitisierung der deutschen Außenpolitik, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift Sonderheft, 52, 219–244.

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Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
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