Contestation of Ttip in Spain: Europe As a Political Playing Field

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
John McIntyre - Room 201 (University of Glasgow)
Luis Bouza , College of Europe
Alvaro Oleart Perez-Seoane , Université libre de Bruxelles
Despite the fact that we find some evidence on a gradual process of Europeanisation of social movements (Tarrow 1995; della Porta and Caiani, 2009) and contestation, the salience of EU issues has remained generally low at the national level. This refers both to the work of civil society or trade union actors and the media. This paper researches whether the movement STOP TTIP movement that launched a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has encouraged the perception of Europe as an open and accessible playing field where there is space for political collective action. Transnational collective action has the potential of Europeanising the (national) public spheres by politicising at the national level a European issue (such as TTIP), and encourage civil society and trade union actors to participate in the policy-making process both at the national level and at the European level. We question what are the dynamics that have driven the STOP TTIP movement, and what has been the resonance in the public sphere of the contestation on TTIP in Spain. Our hypothesis is that the contestation of TTIP in Spain has Europeanised (to an extent) the actions of civil society and trade unions while, at the same time, increased the salience of TTIP in the national public sphere. The paper will test the hypothesis by (1) undertaking a network analysis of the actors mobilised on TTIP in Spain, (2) conducting semi-structured interviews with the main actors mobilised, and (3) a media analysis both quantitative and qualitative.