Department of Comparative Politics

‘This book is an eye opener’

In a new work, comparative politics scholar Hakan Sicakkan shines light on the European public sphere.

Book cover

Main content

A UiB political scientist is earning praise for his innovative ideas about the “Eurosphere” and European integration.

Hakan Sicakkan develops a novel understanding of the  European public sphere in his latest book, Integration, Diversity and the Making of a European Public Sphere.

Sicakkan’s book examines the outcomes of the introduction into the European Union system of the “Eurosphere,” comprising the participants in the European integration process.

Over ten chapters, it studies how these participants are linked together through political cleavages, transnational networks, mass media and policymaking processes, and what kinds of political cleavages they generate through their political activities.

In the work, Sicakkan identifies what he calls a central feature of European integration -- “a Europe-wide system of political cleavages with integrative effects […] which is generated by the introduction of the Eurosphere into the political landscape of the European Union.”

He finds that this cleavage system is shaped more by the unintended outcomes of the strategies and actions of the Eurosphere’s supranational institutions, member states and other participants than it is by their intended ends. His theory draws on the work of Jürgen Habermas, Chantal Mouffe and Stein Rokkan.

Rave reviews
Released in November 2016, Sicakkan’s book is earning praise for being both topical and trail-blazing.

Reviewer András Bozóki, a scholar at Hungary’s Central European University, has described it as “outstanding,” addressing “the most burning issues of our time.”

“This book is an eye opener,” Bozóki wrote, “and should be read by all who are interested in the future of the European idea.”

Sicakkan edited the book and authored three key chapters and a long preface.

Ten other scholars contributed, including Jan van de Beek of the University of Amsterdam, Martina Klicperová-Baker of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Hans-Jörg Trenz of the Copenhagen University, and Marybel Perez of the University of Basel, Switzerland.

The book is published by Edward Elgar Publishing. It is part of the series “New Horizons in European Politics.” It is available both in hardcover print and as an ebook.

An associate professor at SAMPOL, Hakan Sicakkan is a specialist in the areas of transnational democracy, European integration, the public sphere, citizenship, ethnic relations, and migration and asylum policies.

Sicakkan earned his doctorate at UiB. He has served as a researcher at the Centre for Development Studies, University of Bergen; a research leader at Unifob Global, University of Bergen; a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford; and in positons at the University of Copenhagen, the European University Institute, Sciences Po, and Humboldt University of Berlin.

His publications include  six books, numerous book chapters, and articles in journals such as the Journal of Human Rights, Government and Opposition, Social Science Information, Javnost – the Public, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Stat & Styring, and the Norwegian Journal of Migration Research.