Working Paper No. 86
Discourse and European Integration
Integrating theories about discourse (Discourse Studies; DS) with social science theories allows to grasp the dynamic and fluid co-construction of European identities, both top-down and bottom-up. Such interdisciplinary approaches systematically deconstruct the everyday workings of European institutions and support our understanding of the impact of traditional and social media in their production and reproduction of pro-European or Eurosceptic sentiments and attitudes. In this chapter, I first present some important characteristics of Discourse Studies and Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), specifically of the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA). I then, secondly, summarize the most relevant discursive research based on a range of
theories and methodological approaches on European integration. Thirdly, I illustrate the interdisciplinary nexus of discourse-oriented European studies with a case study on the mediatization and politicization of the refugee crisis in Austria, from 2015-2016. I specifically focus on legitimation strategies and argumentation schemes which accompany the implementation of ever more restrictive policy decisions.