Framing Europe online: French political parties and the European election of 2004
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SourceInformation Polity: the International Journal of Government and Democracy in the Information Age, 10, 3/4, (2005), pp. 1-14
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ NISCO CW
Information Polity: the International Journal of Government and Democracy in the Information Age
In this article, the notion of Europeanization of political communication and the possible development of a European public sphere is explored. The article offers a concrete approach to investigating this notion with direct reference to the Internet. Specifically, I examine the unfolding of communicative interaction on the Web sites of French political parties in the context of the 2004 European Parliament election. Through their Web sites, parties offer a particular perspective on European news, issues and events, suggesting whether and why discrete issues broadly concerning Europe are (or should be) socially and politically relevant. Three interpretative frames, derived from theory, are examined in the paper: interests, identity and values. It was found that the three frames coexist in various sections of the Web sites within the French sample. Specifically, European interests and identity are usually expressed in combination with national interests and values. Universal values are frequently expressed, both in relation to France and the EU. Overall, the findings point to a general 'feeling of belonging to Europe' among a number of the French political parties included in the sample. These parties did, to a degree, communicate from a 'Europeanized' perspective.
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