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Perceptions of Europeanisation in the Irish society and media in times of crisis

European Politics
European Union
Integration
Narratives
Anastasia Deligiaouri
Dublin City University
Alessio Cornia
Dublin City University
Anastasia Deligiaouri
Dublin City University
Tetyana Lokot
Dublin City University

Abstract

The paper analyses the evolution of key discourses regarding Europeanisation in Irish society during times of crisis and more specifically during the economic crisis (2008-2012), the migration crisis (2013-2016), Brexit (2016-2021) and the most recent COVID-19 pandemic public health crisis (2020-to date). Based on the Foucauldian framework and its five major aspects of producing and circulating discourses (i.e. addressing the forms and limits of sayable, conservation, memory, reactivation and appropriation; Foucault 1991), the analysis focuses on existing scholarship, policy documents, and data from key surveys (i.e., the Eurobarometer) to provide a historical overview of media discourses, elite and public perceptions of Europeanisation in Ireland. Our analysis relies on the desk-based research conducted in the context of the Horizon2020 project “Mediatized EU”* which examines media discourses on Europeanisation from a cross-country perspective. The paper analyses evidence of evolving discourses about the EU generated by three different groups of actors: Irish citizens (public opinion), political elites and media organisations. The discussion focuses on identity or pragmatic factors that have shaped these discourses and on how these have evolved over time in the Irish context. Pragmatic factors impacting perception and framing of Europeanisation refer to interest-driven rational or practical issues, while identity factors, on the other hand, refer to moral values, emotions, cultural signals, or ideologies related to the collective entity of Europe and the EU. The paper provides a uniquely comprehensive analysis of the evolution of Europeanisation discourses in the Irish media-elite-public triangle in times of crisis. The historical analysis is complemented by preliminary results from the ongoing discourse analysis of coverage in key Irish media outlets relating to discourses of Europeanisation in periods of crisis. *This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement no 101004534