Edited by Stijn Smismans
The origins of this book go back to a workshop I organised at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris in May 2003. This was possible due to the financial support of the European Union who had granted me a Marie Curie Fellowship, and due to Renaud Dehousse who was ready to host the event. The aim was to create an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas on civil society and European governance. From my experience at the European University Institute I know how difficult it is to get an interdisciplinary group together. Fortunately, Paris is an easy place to attract people. More difficult is getting them to stay in the working room, in particular in a place like Saint-Germaindes-Prés. But apparently it worked, and people even appeared to enjoy it. (Many thanks go to Astrid Gerecke for the practical organisation). Even to the extent that when the workshop had finished some went on debating civil society in the Jardin du Luxembourg rather than strolling through Paris. But it might also have been that they were just too exhausted by the workshop and the surprising spring heat that they didn’t get further than the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg, where unintended they bumped into their colleagues again. Anyway, it was at that moment, having some refreshment under the trees and backed by the funny James Bond tunes of the jazz band in the park, that I definitely decided the initiative should be given a follow-up in a book project. I am very grateful...