New media and strategic narratives: the Dutch referendum on Ukraine – EU Association Agreement in Ukrainian and Russian Internet blogs

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Series Details Volume 28, Number 3, Pages 360-381
Publication Date August 2019
ISSN 0966-2839 (print) | 1746-1545 (online)
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This article analyses two confronting narratives authored by Ukrainian and Russian bloggers who reported the Dutch referendum held on 6 March 2016, and discussed Dutch citizens’ referendum vote on the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement. The considered narratives, addressed to the Ukrainian and Russian audiences respectively, are viewed as strategic because they specifically portray political actors of the referendum “drama” – the Netherlands, the European Union (EU), Ukraine and Russia. These actors are significant participants of European international relations, and their perceptions of one another are important for European security at the present time of critical diplomacy.

In this paper, information about the DUTCH REFERENDUM obtained from the new media texts is regarded as a narrative-based political concept (NBPC). It is argued that this concept has different versions, or images that reflect the narrators’ biased perceptions imposed upon the public. Identification and comparison of such images require a particular methodology.

Therefore, the objective of this paper is two-fold: to expose the two confronting versions of a strategically relevant political image, and to develop an authentic, interdisciplinary methodology for its analysis. The proposed methodology is informed by the ontology theory employed in cognitive science and cognitive linguistics.

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