The comparative content analysis of the newspaper coverage in six European countries (A, D, DK, F, GB, PL) reveals a process of transnationalization of public spheres. However, this process of transnationalization remains segmented according to nations as well as to transnational newspaper types. In the second phase of the communication studies project the multi-segmented European public sphere has been explained by drawing on the inertia of different political discourse cultures. In the third phase of the project (2011-2014) the citizens’ reactions to the multi-segmented European public sphere are being explored. The empirical research in our six EU-countries is based on qualitative in-depth interviews, media diaries, citizens’ contributions to newspapers and online forums as well as secondary analyses of standardized data on media use. Thereby the citizens’ (perhaps deficient) public connection to the European public sphere, their participation in the European public sphere as well as their political identifications and understandings of political legitimization shall be analyzed. Such research on citizens’ media use and media appropriation allows for a concluding, qualitatively differentiated evaluation of the transnationalization of public spheres in Europe.
Additionally, we will continue the newspaper content analysis in the third phase of the project and broaden it to an event-related analysis. Thereby, we shall examine if and how far the world financial and economic crisis of 2008/9 marked a sustainable caesura with regard to the transnationalization of public spheres in Europe – for example due to calling in question or rather supporting the expanding competences of the EU as a supranational institution. Combining the event analyses with the follow-up longitudinal content analysis will enable us to evaluate the long-term stability of the multi-segmented transnationalization of public spheres in Europe.
Hepp, Andreas; Brüggemann, Michael; Kleinen von Königslöw, Katharina; Lingenberg, Swantje; Möller, Johanna (2012): Politische Diskurskulturen in Europa. Die Mehrfachsegmentierung europäischer Öffentlichkeit, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
Weßler, Hartmut; Peters, Bernhard; Brüggemann, Michael; Kleinen von Königslöw, Katharina; Sifft, Stefanie (2008): The Transnationalization of Public Spheres, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Final report 2015 in German
Project application 2011-2014 in German
Project application 2007-2010 in German
Project application 2003-2006 in German