The ENLIGHTEN collaborative project is concerned with the legitimacy of European governance in dealing with what we call fast and slow-burning crises. Fast burning crises are readily identified – they are the political and economic shocks of recent years, which have provided direct challenges to European institutions and their governance modalities. Slow-burning crises are less obvious yet no less important. In slow-burning crises the political, social, and economic challenges are long-term and widespread, but do not generate immediate political attention.
The ENLIGHTEN research team are investigating both fast- and slow-burning crises in the European political economy to understand how to bolster and maintain the legitimacy of Europe’s governing institutions. We will be thinking through these problems while using a number of conceptual and methodological innovations to trace expert networks and institutional changes. To ground us we are specifically addressing the following policy fields that map onto our fast and slow-burning distinction: Banking Crises and Fiscal Sustainability; Deficit Reduction and Continuity of Public Services; Youth Employment and Inclusive Growth.