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 an original 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
Routledge Studies on Democratising Europe focuses on the prospects for a citizens’ Europe by analysing the kind of order that is emerging in Europe. The books in the series take stock of the EU as an entity that has progressed beyond intergovernmentalism and consider how to account for this process and what makes it democratic. The emphasis is on citizenship, constitution-making, public sphere, enlargement, common foreign and security policy, and Europe society.