Public Sphere 2014 (METU, Ankara, Turkey) 


The Middle East Technical University (METU) will host the FREE research conference on the Public Sphere 24-28 April 2014. The conference organisers are Dr Özgehan Şenyuva & Dr Başak Alpan

The term public sphere is often related to Jürgen Habermas’s seminal work The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962), which was translated into English in 1989. In his work, Habermas focuses on the transformation of public sphere from a realm which is distinct both from the state and the market, as put by classical liberal theory, to an area which is characterised by the commercialisation and consumerisation trends of the mass society from the 19th century on.

Habermas’s work has been inspiring for many scholars from different disciplines, but the peak moment for Habermasian repercussion within European Studies came when European integration began to be increasingly associated with identity-related and normative aspects of belonging to ‘Europe’ during the debates on the Maastricht Treaty and the European Constitution respectively. Applying his normative concept to the specific case of European integration, Habermas himself observed that a pan-European public sphere was needed as response ‘to the problem of insufficient social integration in the processes of Europeanisation’. Since that time, the transnationali­sation of public spheres in Europe has always been a burning issue in scholarly work on European integration.

Over the last years, both growing Euroscepticism and the effects of the economic and financial crisis have put the vital question of ‘what binds Europeans together?’ high on the agenda. If the process of European integration has taught us one thing, it is that we need to do more justice to understanding how and why common experiences, everyday practices and popular culture matter for Europeans. The FREE project (‘Football Research in an Enlarged Europe’) is based on the assumption that football, as Europe’s most widely shared social practice and popular passion capable of reaching out to hundreds of millions of individuals, deserves to be studied rigorously to explore the (possible) construction of a pan-European public sphere.

Working Papers

Please note that all papers are work-in-progress & may not be quoted without the explicit written permission of the author(s).

 Public Spheres and Public Spaces Undue Concept Stretching or Exploring New Territories? (Albrecht Sonntag) [Working Paper]

 ECJ Rulings or Wayne Rooney’s Hair – Issues, Non-Issues and Hidden Issues in Online Football Fan Discourse (Arne Niemann & Alexander Brand) [Working Paper]

  ‘… And You’re Destroying Our Game’: RB Leipzig in Public Football Discourse (Daniel Ziesche) [Working Paper]

Football Supporters Europe : from Local Fan Groups to a Pan-European Network (Emir Güney) [Working Paper]

 From Stadia to the Gezi Park: On ÇARŞI, Public Sphere and Political Agency of a Football Fan Group (Gulcin Balamir Coskun & Bezen Balamir Coskun) [Working Paper]

 Changing the Landscape of European Football: women football’s transformative effect on Europe’s public sphere analysed by way of the transnational BeNe League case (Martine Prange) [Working Paper]

 Heterotopia and Women’s Football: public space in BeNeLeague football clubs (Nathanja van de Heuvel)[Working Paper]

 Commercialization of Football and Solidarity of Fans in Europe (Nazım Sinan Odabaşı) [Working Paper]

 New Media, New Supporters: An Example of Transnationalism in Twitter (Okan Yılmaz & Ekin Can Göksoy)[Working Paper]

  The Adventures of a stadium in Wonderland. Case study of the project of a new football stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia (Olga Chepurnaya) [Working Paper]

 Football fans at Gezi: counterpublic in the making (Ömer Turan & Burak Özçetin) [Working Paper]

 The ‘Europes of Football’:Working towards a cohesive understanding of the ‘beautiful game’ in the pan-European public sphere (Ruth Morris & Ben Morris) [Working Paper]

 « Mentalità ultras »The perspective of the Ultras domination on European radical football fans. (Sébastien Louis) [Working Paper] 

 Football Space and the Social Construction of Istanbul as a Modern City 1945-60 (Sevecen Tunç) [Working Paper]

 Linking public and political spheres: the field of football politics (Timm Beichelt) [Working Paper]

 Discourses of Nostalgia in Making Spaces of Football in Istanbul (Yağmur Nuhrat) [Working Paper]

Programme of the conference

Please find below the conference programme in PDF format.

 Programme of the conference From Habermas to Fanblogs: Exploring the Public Sphere of European Football 

Call for Papers

The deadline for this Call for Papers is 31 January 2014.

Please click here to download the full Call for Papers