Political Communication in Europe The Cultural and Structural Limits of the European Public Sphere

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-31
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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The patent disconnection between the institutions of the European Union and the citizens of Europe has been widely attributed by political leaders and scholars to a 'communications gap', that is, to the way EU affairs are mediated by the media, and to the apparent lack of interest by national elites in conveying the importance of Europe. This book challenges this 'mediation theory' and suggests instead a cultural and systemic explanation for the distant and bureaucratic character of the European Union. Apportioning the blame for the communication gap to the media and national politicians neglects two real deficits which prevent Europe from enjoying a vibrant public sphere: a deficit of domesticisation, a popular disconnection with the idea of the EU, and a deficit of politicisation with European politics, it being difficult to categorise as through traditional methods of 'left vs. right'. This book suggests that popular disengagement with the EU is a consequence of the fact that Europe as a cultural community is an interdependent continent rather than a nation and that, as an political institution, the EU is a pseudo-confederation full of anti-publicity bias, elite-driven integration, corporatism and diplomacy. The result is a book that is an essential read for students and scholars of political communication and of the European Union.

Author Biography

Francisco Seoane Pérez holds a PhD in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds, an MA in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago (USA, 2006, with a grant from the Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza) and a BA in Journalism from the University of Santiago de Compostela (2001). His scholarly interests include the role of journalism in liberal democracies, the idea of a European public sphere, and the impact of the Internet on political participation. He is an associate editor for the International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. The True Deficits of the European Public Sphere: Domesticisation and Politicisation
2. The Anti-popular Bias of Integration by Stealth
3. Governing the EU: Consensus Diplomacy and Associative Corporatism
4. The 'no demos' Conundrum
5. Explaining the Domesticisation Deficit
6. Explaining the Politicisation Deficit
7. Conclusions
Methodological Appendix

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