Presented at the conference on “Environnement et espace public européen: perceptions, acteurs, politiques” at the Institut d’Histoire Allemand/Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris, 19 October 2017.
Conference description: This conference is part of a research project that uses environmental questions to explore the emergence of a European public sphere and its impact on defining European environmental policy since the 1970s. It falls within an approach that has renewed the historiography of international relation in Europe after 1945 by selecting civil society as the departure point for a historical study of decision-making processes. This renewal has imposed itself chiefly due to the emergence of a Europe-wide space of communication beginning in the 1970s, one that was specially fostered by the rise of new social movements and communication technologies. One can observe a growing convergence in the debates taking place within a number of communication spaces in Europe, whether national, regional, or linguistic. Moreover, although the construction of Europe may favor such convergences, the ones in question are hardly limited to the European Community or institutions. They are, however, reinforced when they pertain to transnational matters such as environmental problems, which by their nature cross all sorts of borders, including that of the Iron Curtain. Once the notion of increasing convergence within this European communication space is accepted, the question arises as to the conditions and timeframes in which these convergences helped construct subjects from one or more European policies.