Segmented Europeanization. Exploring the legitimacy of the European Union from a public discourse perspective (2007)

Abstract

The article presents the results of a longitudinal newspaper analysis on the Europeanization of public discourses in five EU countries. It shows that European governance is increasingly subject to public scrutiny, but neither has a common discourse in Europe developed nor has the communication lag of the EU disappeared. Therefore the EU remains largely dependent on domestic processes of legitimation.

Sifft, Stefanie; Brüggemann, Michael; Kleinen-von Königslöw, Katharina; Peters, Bernhard; Wimmel, Andreas (2007): Segmented Europeanization. Exploring the Legitimacy of the European Union from a Public Discourse Perspective. In Journal of Common Market Studies 45 (1), pp. 127–156. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5965.2007.00706.x.

The Commission White Paper on communication. Mapping a way to a European public sphere (2006)

Abstract

In its recent White Paper on a European Communication Policy, the European Commission has promised a “fundamentally new approach”. The policy is meant to narrow the communication gap looming between the European Union and its citizens and ultimately to map a way towards the development of a European public sphere. In contrast to the so called ‘Action Plan’ for improving the Commission’s own communication from July 2005, the White Paper is addressed to the EU as a whole, including other central institutions, member states, European political parties and even ‘civil society’. The purpose of this Policy Brief is to critically evaluate the proposals emanating from the White Paper and to advance several suggestions aimed at helping the current initiative to have a more tangible and long-term effect than its many predecessors, authored by Messrs Tindemans, Adonnino, Oostlander, DeClerq, Pex or Pinheiro.

Kurpas, Sebastian; Brüggemann, Michael; Meyer, Christoph (2006): The Commission White Paper on Communication. Mapping a Way to a European Public Sphere. Brussels (CEPS Policy Brief 101 / May 2006). Available online at http://shop.ceps.be/bookdetail.php?item_id=1328.

Kein Experte ist wie der andere. Vom Umgang mit Missionaren und Geschichtenerzählern (2006)

Abstract

Der vorliegende Text leistet einen Beitrag zur Weiterentwicklung des Experteninterviews als Erhebungsinstrument in den Sozialwissenschaften. Im Mittelpunkt steht das Interviewverhalten der Befragten – ein Aspekt, der in der bisherigen Literatur zum Experteninterview zu wenig Beachtung gefunden hat. Die Rolle, die der Experte im Interview einnimmt, so unsere These, ist dabei letztlich mitentscheidend für den Erfolg und die weitere Verwertbarkeit der durch ein Interview gesammelten Antworten. Neben Faktoren wie der allgemeinen Vorbereitung, der Ausarbeitung der Fragen und der Auswertungsmethode wird damit die Gesprächsführung zur entscheidenden Determinante der Qualität eines Experteninterviews. Der Beitrag entwickelt eine Typologie unterschiedlicher
Interviewpartner und stellt deren jeweilige Besonderheiten dar. Experten lassen sich nach ihrem Kommunikationsstil (detailverliebt, anekdotenhaft, abstrahierend, ausweichend, contra-faktisch) und nach ihrer Intention, an einem Interview teilzunehmen (Informationsweitergabe, Persuasion), unterscheiden. Entlang dieser beiden Dimensionen lassen sich zehn Typen von Experten unterscheiden. Eine solche Typologie hilft, Herausforderungen an eine Interviewsituation (Zeitmanagement, Faktensammlung, Ermittlung von Meinungen) frühzeitig zu erkennen und Interviewstrategien (aktives Zeitmanagement, Konkretisierung, Konfrontation, Bekenntnisstrategie, Versachlichungsstrategie) zu entwickeln, um möglichen problematischen Verhaltensmustern, die solche Experten zeigen, entgegenzuwirken.

Martens, Kerstin; Brüggemann, Michael (2006): Kein Experte ist wie der andere. Vom Umgang mit Missionaren und Geschichtenerzählern. Bremen (TranState Working Paper, 39). Available online at http://www.state.uni-bremen.de/pages/pubApBeschreibung.php?SPRACHE=de&ID=45.

Informing European citizens? Evaluating the activities of the European Commission in the field of Information (2006)

Abstract

This cost-benefit study assesses the different programmes and actions in the area of information carried out by the European Commission and financed by the Community budget over the period 2000-05. Using the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and utility (as set out in the terms of reference provided by the European Parliament), the study shows that the overall assessment in terms of ‘value for money’ is positive. However, there is still room for improvement concerning all the actions. The study covers the following aspects: 1) The audiovisual sector, including co-productions (APCAV), the Commission’s Audiovisual Service (EbS and the running of studios) and contracts with Euronews, 2) the EUROPA website, 3) written publications, 4) the Europe Direct call centre, 5) Eurobarometer and 6) information outlets.

Kurpas, Sebastian; Clerck-Sachsse, Julia de; Brüggemann, Michael (2006): Informing European Citizens? Evaluating the Activities of the European Commission in the field of Information (Study commissioned by the European Parliament Budget Committee, 31 August 2006). Available online at http://shop.ceps.be/bookdetail.php?item_id=1406.

Towards communication? Evaluating the activities of the European Commission in the field of communication (2006)

Abstract

European integration has become not only a political but also a communication challenge. In order to bridge the gap in communication between European citizens and the EU, the European Commission undertakes various communication measures which add up to an emerging European communication policy. This evolving policy is currently undergoing major reforms based on Margot Wallström’s ‘Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe’ and the ‘White Paper on a European Communication Policy’. This study examines, on behalf of the EP’s Budgetary Committee, the most important measures that came under communication headings in the general budget undertaken under the Commission’s prerogatives in the years 2000 to 2005 with a view to developing recommendations for future actions. The focus of the study is to establish how much ‘value for money’ these measures represent by looking at their relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and utility. This study deals with the following areas of activity: 1) media relations and particularly the spokespersons’ service and seminars for journalists, 2) the PRINCE campaigns and in detail with the measures on the Euro, EU enlargement and the debate on the future of Europe, 3) decentralisation and the work of the Commission’s Representations and 4) the communication activities of DGs other than DG Comm and how they are coordinated. In this summary of the study we will first present, as a general conclusion, five main challenges for future actions that apply across the board.

Brüggemann, Michael; Kurpas, Sebastian; Clerck-Sachsse, Julia de (2006): Towards Communication? Evaluating the Activities of the European Commission in the field of Communication (Study commissioned by the European Parliament Budget Committee, 31 August 2006). Available online at http://shop.ceps.be/bookdetail.php?item_id=1405.

Segmented Europeanization. The transnationalization of public spheres in Europe: Trends and patterns (2006)

Abstract

The existence of a European public sphere, a public network of exchange of opinions and ideas on political issues, has come to be seen as a prerequisite for the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. The paper conceptualizes the Europeanization of the national public spheres as a gradual process that may occur on four different dimensions: 1. monitoring governance, 2. mutual observation, 3. discursive exchange, and 4. collective identification with Europe. It then presents the results of our empirical research on the transnationalization of public spheres in Europe: What is the prevailing pattern of Europeanization that can be observed in different countries of the EU?
We have conducted a quantitative content analysis of the political discourses in quality newspapers of five EU member states (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain) over a period of twenty years. According to our analysis of more than 3,000 articles the main pattern of transnationalization to be found in all countries is segmented Europeanization: Within each public sphere we find more and more talk about European institutions and policies but there is no indication of an increase in the debate in between the national public spheres. In addition, we find weak indications of a gradually developing European “we”-perspective.

Brüggemann, Michael; Sifft, Stefanie; Kleinen-v. Königslöw, Katharina; Peters, Berhard; Wimmel, Andreas (2006): Segmented Europeanization. The Transnationalization of Public Spheres in Europe. Trends and Patterns. TranState Working Paper 37. Bremen. Available online at http://www.state.uni-bremen.de/pages/pubApBeschreibung.php?SPRACHE=de&ID=40.

Segmentierte Europäisierung. Die Transnationalisierung von Öffentlichkeit in Europa: Trends und Muster (2006)

Abstract

Bisher beschränkt sich die Debatte um eine „Europäische Medienöffentlichkeit” vor allem auf mögliche Voraussetzungen und Bedingungen, die für ihre Konstitution notwendig seien, während empirisch gestützte Analysen zu ihrem aktuellen Entwicklungsstand weitgehend fehlen oder bestenfalls als Momentaufnahmen eines längerfristigen Prozesses interpretiert werden können.’ So bleibt trotz erster Forschungsbemühungen die zentrale Frage unbeantwortet, inwieweit und mit welcher Qualität sich ein Wandel nationaler Medienöffentlichkeiten in Europa bereits vollzogen hat: Hat medienvermittelte Kommunikation über die Europäische Union die Stufe routinemaßiger außenpolitischer Berichterstattung und Debatte schon längst überflügelt, wie Klaus Eder und Cathleen Kantner (2000, 307) behaupten? Oder ist Jürgen Gerhards (2000, 295) zuzustimmen, der in einer Studie festgestellt hat, dass der Europäisierungsgrad zumindest der deutschen Medienöffentlichkeit dem gestiegenen politischen Einfluss der EU nach wie vor erheblich hinterherhinkt?

Brüggemann, Michael; Sifft, Stefanie; Kleinen-v. Königslöw, Katharina; Peters, Bernhard; Wimmel, Andreas (2006): Segmentierte Europäisierung. Die Transnationalisierung von Öffentlichkeit in Europa. Trends und Muster. In Michael Latzer, Florian Saurwein (Eds.): Medialer Wandel und Europäische Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 214–231. Available online at https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-531-90272-2_10.

National and Transnational Public Spheres: The Case of the EU (2005)

Abstract

While many important social processes cut across national borders and have transnational institutions to regulate them, democratic participation still occurs almost exclusively within individual nation states. Public information and debate are essential ingredients of democracy, and their confinement to the individual national public sphere threatens the democratic aspirations and legitimacy of transnational institutions. Therefore, it is often argued that the European Union can only achieve greater legitimacy if there is a Europeanization of national public spheres. Has public discourse in fact Europeanized in the last decades? Here we present results from a study of major national newspapers from five European countries. Europeanization is defined in three dimensions: Europeanization of contents, Europeanization of public identities, and Europeanization of communication flows. Our results show that national public spheres are, in fact, quite resilient and that change is slow or halting. We discuss several possible explanations for this resilience, and go on to question the assumption that the legitimacy of European institutions depends on Europeanization of public discourse.

Peters, Bernhard; Sifft, Stefanie; Wimmel, Andreas; Brüggemann, Michael; Kleinen-von Königslöw, Katharina (2005): National and Transnational Public Spheres. The Case of the EU. In European Review 13 (Supp. No. 1), pp. 139–160. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511752193.007.

How the EU constructs the European public sphere: Seven strategies of information policy (2005)

Abstract

If there is no such thing as a European Public Sphere (EPS), why don’t we construct one? The answer seems to be obvious: There is no way one could construct a public sphere top-down since it depends on the active participation of speakers, the media and audience. In a democratic society they are free to deliberate with whom and about what they want. This article does not challenge the Habermasian notion of a public sphere evolving from the free discourse of the citizens. Nevertheless, the evolution of a public sphere is also structured by incentives and constraints imposed from above. The European Union structures the EPS – as a polity as well as through its policies and politics. While it is true that different policies such as media policy and all cultural policies matter for the public sphere, this paper concentrates on the Commission’s information policy as it constitutes the most direct link between the institution and the EPS. Seven different strategies of information policy will be presented which vary in their potential of creating or suppressing the evolution of a democratic public sphere. The extremes are marked by propaganda and arcane policy on the one hand and dialogue and transparency on the other hand. While the Commission pursued arcane policies for a long time, its approach to information has changed during the last decade. A change of paradigm might be under way but the legacy of European policy without “Offentlichkeit” constraints all attempts at pursuing more democratic information policies aimed at strengthening the public sphere.

Brüggemann, Michael (2005): How the EU Constructs the European Public Sphere. Seven Strategies of Information Policy. In Javnost / The Public 12 (2), pp. 57–74. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2005.11008888.

Jetzt erst recht. Crossmedia-Strategien können die journalistische Qualität verbessern (2004)

Abstract

Crossmedia war in – bei Medienmanagern und Kommunikationswissenschaftlern. Beide begeisterten sich für die Überwindung medialer Grenzen. Während letztere mit Hilfe des vermeintlichen Multi-Mediums Internet die Wahrnehmungsmauern zwischen den klassischen Massenmedien Radio, Fernsehen und Print einreißen wollten, ging es den Medienmanagern um die Expansion in neue Märkte. Inzwsichen ist nur noch die Krise in allen Mediensparten zu Hause. Ganze Onlineauftritte stehen zur Disposition oder warden durch radikale Personalkürzungen von innen ausgehöhlt. Crossmedia hat als Schlagwort überlebt, steht jetzt aber unter dem gänzlich unglücklichen Stern namens Sparzwang. Die Vernetzung verschiedener Angebote einer publizistischen Marke soll Synergiern bringen und dadurch Kosten reduzieren. Fragen publizistischer Qualität stehen hinter dem ökonomischen Motiv zurück. Dabei kann eine gute Crossmedia-Strategie sowohl sparen helfen, als auch die Qualität der Angebote verbessern. Das ist die These dieses Beitrags, die ins Normative gewendet eine deutliche Forderung enthält: Für die Zeit nach der aktuellen Krise sollten die Medien ihre Glaubwürdigkeit bewahren, also den Glauben des Publikums an Wahrhaftigkeit und Kompetenz zur Berichterstattung. Dieses Gut gilt es crossmedial zu sichern.

Brüggemann, Michael (2004): Jetzt erst recht. Crossmedia-Strategien können die journalistische Qualität verbessern. In Klaus Beck, Wolfgang Schweiger, Werner Wirth (Eds.): Gute Seiten – Schlechte Seiten. München: Verlag Reinhard Fischer, pp. 222–232.