alexa Denouncing European integration Euroscepticism as polity contestation
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs

Author(s): Pieter de Wilde, HansJrg Trenz

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The spreading phenomenon of Euroscepticism is manifested in critical practices in discourse that oppose European integration. This paper explores Euroscepticism as an element of discourse, which cannot only be measured as party positions or individual attitudes. Based on this understanding, our argument is twofold. Firstly, Euroscepticism relates to the unsettled and principally contested character of the European Union (EU) as a political entity: its basic purpose and rationale, its institutional design and its future trajectory. It correlates with pro-European discourse and the attempts to promote the (democratic) legitimacy of the EU. Secondly, we argue that Euroscepticism unfolds primarily through mass media. As such, it is given public expression through general news values, drama and narratives that are targeted to draw the attention of the wider audience. Understanding this responsive and public nature of Euroscepticism leads us, in the end, to a comprehensive typology of six forms of polity evaluation of the EU.

This article was published in European Journal of Social Theory and referenced in Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs

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