Working Paper 15

The Emergence of a European Community of Communication: Insights from Empirical Research on the Europeanization of Public Spheres

Marianne van de Steeg, Thomas Risse - August 2010                   Download

 

Abstract

A European public sphere emerges out of Europeanized national public spheres if the following two phenomena are verified. First, if and when the same (European) themes are discussed at the same time with similar frames of reference, meaning structures, and patterns of interpretation across the various media sources. Second, if and when a transnational community of communication emerges in which speakers and listeners recognize each other as legitimate participants in a discourse that frames the issues at stake as common European problems. We present empirical evidence from other scholars and two case studies of our own, namely Eastern enlargement and the sanctions against the Austrian ÖVP/FPÖgovernment. The main finding is that at least when European issues are discussed, that a European public sphere is constituted and re-constituted through the discursive connections and debates across borders.