The Politicization of Europe. Contesting the Constitution in the Mass Media

Author (Person) ,
Publication Date 2012
ISBN 978-0-415-58466-1 (Hbk)
Content Type

This book examines how mass media debates have contributed to the politicization of the European Union. The public controversies over the EU’s attempted Constitution-making (and its failure) sowed the seeds for a process of politicization that has advanced ever since: an increasing visibility for the EU in mass-mediated public debates that is combined with a growing public contestation over Europe within national politics. The book presents a systematic study of the emerging field of political discourse carried by the mass media in France, Germany and Britain to examine the performance of Europe’s public sphere. Whilst the EU’s increasing politicization can be seen as beneficial to European democracy, potentially ‘normalizing’ the EU-level within national politics, the same developments can also be a threat to democracy, leading to populist and xenophobic responses and a decline in political trust. Such discussions are key to understanding the EU’s legitimacy and how its democratic politics can work in an era of mediated politics.

The Politicization of Europe will be of interest to students and scholars of comparative politics, media studies, communication, sociology and European studies.


Introduction The Politicization of Europe: A Public Sphere Perspective

Part I: The EU’s Constitution-making: Institutional Aspirations and Public Expectations
Chapter 1: The EU’s Institutional Efforts to Construct a Public: Constitution-making and the Evolving European Public Sphere
Chapter 2: What Kind of European Civil Society?: The Views and Adaption of NGOs to the EU’s Constitution-making

Part II: The EU’s Constitution-making and the Transformation of Public Spheres in France, Germany and Britain: Visibility, Inclusiveness and Contestation
Chapter 3: Making Europe Visible? The Spatial Transformation of Mass Mediated Public Debates
Chapter 4: Making Europe Inclusive? The Transformation of Political Actors’ Participation in Public Debates

Part III: The EU’s Constitution-making and the Emergence of Party Political Contestation and Critique
Chapter 5: Making Europe Partisan? The Transformation of Political Party Contestation in Public Debates over the Constitution
Chapter 6: Making Europe Politicized? French Political Parties’ Critiques and Framing of the Constitution in the Referendum Debates

Conclusion The EU’s Public Politicization: Lessons from the Constitution and Prospects for the Future

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