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"I just hope the whole thing won't collapse": "Understanding" and "overcoming" the EU financial crisis from the citizens' perspective
Based on qualitative research conducted in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom, the article analyses the ‘citizens’ perspective’ on the ‘EU financial crisis’ as it is communicated in the European public sphere. With reference to this aim, we argue in the following steps: After a general introduction into the research field we describe our overall theoretical approach on the citizens’ role in the process of a communicative construction of the European public sphere. The following section introduces the methodological approach, triangulating qualitative interviews, a half-standardised questionnaire, qualitative network maps and media diaries. We go on to present our research results on the citizens’ constructions of the ‘EU financial crisis’. On the one hand, they are struggling to ‘understand’ the crisis, a process that is marked by perplexity, anxiety, and speculations. On the other hand, the citizens develop their own view on how to ‘overcome’ the crisis, either in a national way, a European way, or by re-negotiating European cooperation. Based on such an analysis we conclude by a general reflection whether the crisis is a problem for the EU and its public sphere.
No. 168/2013
Andreas Hepp
Swantje Lingenberg
Monika Elsler
Johanna Möller
Anne Mollen
Anke Offerhaus

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