News Framing and Public Support for a Common Foreign and Security Policy

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Series Details Vol.47, No.3, June 2009, p453-481
Publication Date June 2009
ISSN 0021-9886
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A common EU foreign and security policy (CFSP) can be framed by elites and media as a risk or as an opportunity. This article examines the effects of framing in terms of 'risk' and 'opportunity' on public support. Moreover, we examine first whether the effect of framing CFSP as a 'risk for the nation-state' has more impact than 'risk for the EU' framing, and second whether fear of globalization moderates the effect of news framing at the individual level. Drawing on a survey-embedded experiment (n = 2,081) we found that participants in the 'risk' frame condition showed significantly lower levels of support compared to participants in the 'opportunity' condition. Those in the 'risk for the nation-state' condition were significantly less supportive of CFSP than those in the 'risk for the EU' condition. The framing effect was moderated by fear of globalization so that individuals more afraid of globalization exposed to the 'risk' frame condition were significantly more susceptible to 'risk' framing than individuals with low fear of globalization. The results provide insights into the effects of valenced news frames and support for specific EU policies.

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