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The Europeanization of public discourse in Italy: a top-down process?

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Della Porta, Donatella; Caiani, Manuela

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Abstract European integration has raised hopes and concerns about its effect on the distribution of power among different actors, and in particular on the role of the civil society. Focusing on the Europeanization of public discourse in Italy as a case study, this article addresses the specific problem of the formation of supranational public spheres. On the basis of content analyses of daily press and interviews, we argue that various forms of Europeanization of the public discourse are indeed on the rise, with a growing presence not only of purely European actors but also of European targets and frames. Europeanization appears to have been traditionally a ‘top-down’ process: in fact the more Europeanized is a policy, actor, target or issue scope, the less civil society actors seem to have access to the public sphere. However, some changes across time emerge, with the development of (conflictual) forms of ‘Europeanization from below’.
Keywords Italy; EU; European integration; Europeanization; discourse; mass media; content analysis; social movement
Classification Media Contents, Content Analysis
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 77-112
Journal European Union Politics, 7 (2006) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)