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Constructing EU-Criticism in Dominant Newspapers

Vallaste, Katri. (2007) Constructing EU-Criticism in Dominant Newspapers. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    [From the introduction]. In my doctoral dissertation I will seek to clarify the concept of “EU-criticism”. I will not offer any normative definition myself, nor will I argue that one of the various terms used for the phenomenon is more appropriate than the others. Instead, I will discuss how the entire phenomenon is discursively constructed in dominant newspapers1 and juxtapose those representations to EU-critics’ own representations of themselves.2 My assumption here is that “dominant newspapers” are something largely external to EU-criticism. In other words, nationwide newspapers are not the primary channel of expressing critical ideas regarding the EU. I will examine the “inside” perspective by analyzing texts recommended by key EU-critical actors. That is, I will ask them what texts I should read in juxtaposition to dominant newspapers, in order to get a more balanced picture of what EU-criticism is about. I do not suggest that either of the two representations—that of dominant newspapers or self-representations—is more “true” than the other. In other words, I do not propose that EU-critics understand themselves better than do the dominant newspapers, nor do I believe that the latter as an outsider can be more “objective”. I am conducting case studies of EU-criticism in three countries: Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. The first criterion for choosing the case studies was the principle that EU-criticism should be studied in countries where it is claimed to exist, as opposed to countries where it is not. That is to say, all three countries display a high degree of public EU-criticism. Also, Sweden, Finland and Estonia constitute a kind of a “Nordic scale”3 of EU member states. Adding Denmark would have gone a step further on the EU-critical scale. Indeed, adding Norway to the study would have broadened the scale as an example of a country that has not even joined the EU. In each country, I analyze the representations of EU-criticism/EU-critics in the largest daily newspaper: Helsingin Sanomat, Dagens Nyheter and Postimees, respectively. The timeframe for my study is from the year 2000 to 2006. It is common to choose a time period according to some historical events. However, it is difficult to determine an event in the development of EU-criticism that would be relevant in all three countries. Choosing an event from the history of the European Union would not be relevant either, as these affect EU-critical activity and thinking differently in different countries. The study becomes technically more manageable by choosing a relatively recent time period because more of the material can be found in an electronic format, thus reducing the labor intensity of the project undertaken and making it more manageable for a single researcher.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > media
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > europeanisation/europeanization & European identity
    Countries > Estonia
    Countries > Finland
    Countries > Sweden
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 18
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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