Communication and the European Public Sphere
The TWG aims to shed light on the impact of the European public sphere on the future of European integration. The constructive discussions and the collaborative work stimulated by this TWG will open up new directions in research in the field and will explore new theoretical frameworks that explain how current communication practices, including media visibility and framing, public discourse, citizens’ perceptions and participation, influence the development of a European arena of communication.
The results of the discussions within the TWG will impact significantly on the analysis of EU Communication and the European public sphere. Furthermore, the conceptual and methodological framework for investigating the role of the media and opinion leaders in shaping people’s attitudes towards the European Union could be replicated and refined by similar research projects implemented in various countries of the EU. Data and results of future research in the field will set the ground for comparison within the EU counties with respect to the dynamics of public attitudes towards the EU and to the emergence of a European identity.
The constructive discussions and the collaborative work promoted by the TWG will:
• contribute to the literature in the field by opening up new research directions and by exploring new theoretical frameworks that explain the existence and functioning of a European public sphere;
• examine the relationship between communication practices - as carried out by both mainstream and new media, political parties, EU officials, European institutions, groups of interests, etc. - and conceptualizations of European citizenship, identity, and solidarity;
• explore various models of collective identity (i.e. civic, cultural, instrumental) that extend beyond citizenship and nationality;
• analyze the EU communication phenomena in the context of the crisis (i.e. the emergence of Eurosceptic attitudes, the EU’s crisis of legitimacy);
• design new empirical investigations of both mainstream and new media visibility and framing of EU-related topics;
• stimulate interdisciplinary approaches to the topic by encouraging dialogue between communication and media studies, sociology, political science, etc.;
• establish and consolidate an international community of scholars interested in this topic;
• involve and encourage doctoral candidates and junior researchers to pursue their scientific interests in this field;
• disseminate the work resulting from the activities of the TWG (conferences, workshops, etc.) to the academic community and the public at large.
Chair: Alina Bargaoanu (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania)
Vice Chair: Malgorzata Winiarska-Brodowska (Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland)
Vice Chair: Prof. Dr. Holger Sievert (MHMK - Macromedia University for Media and Communication, Cologne, Germany)