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Discourse Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, and Text Analysis in EU Integration Studies

Claudia Wiesner
University of Jyväskylä
Claudia Wiesner
University of Jyväskylä

Abstract

The construction of meaning and the role of language in EU integration have in the last years gained some interest also in EU studies. This is related to the fact that analysing institutions and politicians is not enough to understand and explain such phenomena as Euroscepticism or the negative votes in EU referenda. To look at these from different angles requires taking into account the role of language related processes and the construction of meaning(s) with regard to the EU, its institutions, policies, or Treaties. Discourse analysis, as well as qualitative data analysis and text analysis, are some of the main methodological choices relevant to analyse such aspects. The proposed paper will discuss the possibilities for applying discourse analysis as well as qualitative data analysis and text analysis in the study of EU integration. It will start by explaining the ontological and methodological choices related to doing discourse analysis, qualitative data analysis and text analysis. In a second step, a concrete research design will be developed, integrating approaches and standards from qualitative data analysis and text analysis. The third part will present how the research design has been carried out and what have been some of the key findings. The paper will be based on my habilitation thesis which does a comparative discourse and qualitative analysis of the 2005 EU constitutional ratification Treaty discourses in Germany and France.