Research Focus I: Re-Defining the Public

The separation of public and private life plays a fundamental role in modern societies. Not only the validity of rights, but also access to social resources and goods depends decisively on that which is understood as the public and private spheres and who is regarded as a public figure and who is regarded as a private individual. This separation paradigm of modern societies is not a rigid, but a trans-historical, economic, trans-cultural, political (Hohendahl, 2000) and also gendered phenomenon (Dackweiler/Holland-Cunz, 1991), which is subject to change. Since the development of civil societies in the 18th century, the public was considered to be male, leaving women primarily assigned to familial privacy. The advent of the 20th century changed this picture. Women became increasingly visible in the public realm. This applies to all social areas: law, economics, politics, and culture alike.
The project focuses on this change as the subject of interdisciplinary research (Jansen/Priddat/Stehr, 2007). The title Re-Defining the Public predefines a common basic orientation for the collaboration of various disciplines: to examine the changes in the public sphere with regard to whether the increasing visibility of women in the public sphere is synonymous with a new coinage of the public sphere. Are women not only more visible, but also more powerful? Are women molding a new public sphere and if so, to what extent? Is the visibility of women accompanied by a new definition, a re-formulation of the separation of public and private sectors?
With the visibility of women, do the dividing lines shift? To what extent do gender relations as social power relations also change?
These research questions should be examined in this research project on the basis of a society-centered research perspective that brings together new forms of political participation and participation patterns as well as processes of social integration, interpretive cultural patterns, and the political culture of societies. With this new research perspective, a written document should be produced to clarify the foundations and conditions for development of democratic societies and for effective equality projects in European politics and international cooperation.

Activities Planned, Implemented, and In Progress:

1. Interdisciplinary Lecture Series

The following interdisciplinary lecture series was provided in Summer Semester 2017: "Resistant practices in public space". In Summer Semester 2015 the interdisciplinary lecture series was titled „Concepts of the public sphere in feminist theory“. An interdisciplinary lecture series entitled „Re-Defining the Public“  wasgiven in Winter Semester 2014/15.

2. Articles

Wilde, Gabriele (2016): Civil Society and European Integration: The Re-Configuration of Gendered Power Relations in the Public Sphere. In: Abels, Gabriele / MacRae, Heather (Hg.): Gendering European Integration Theory, Opladen, Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich. S. 257-278.

Wilde, Gabriele/ Abels, Gabriele (2016): Legitimationsprobleme europäischer Staatlichkeit. Parlamentarismus und Zivilgesellschaft als Strategien für eine europäische Öffentlichkeit, in: Bieling, Hans-Jürgen/Große Hüttmann, Martin (Hg.): Europäische Staatlichkeit: zwischen Krise und Integration. Bielefeld: Springer VS, S. 259 - 280.

3.  Working Papers

Mushaben, Joyce Marie
“I’m here too, Girlfriend…”: Reclaiming Public Spaces for the Gender-ing of Civil Society in Turkey.
ZEUGS – Working Paper No. 7|2015.

4. Lectures

Wilde, Gabriele: Civil Society and European Integration: The Re-Configuration of Gendered Power Relations in the Public Sphere. Working Paper for the SGEU Conference at the University of Trento, 16-18 June 2016 during Panels „Gendering European Integration Theory“.