Political Parties as Politicizers of EU Integration

Empirical Studies of Issue Politicization in the Run-up to the 2014 EP Elections

Project management: Prof. Dr. Michaela MaierProf Dr. Silke AdamDr. Melanie Leidecker-Sandmann Eva-Maria Antl-Wittenberg

In cooperation with: Prof. Dr. Claes de Vreese & Prof. Dr. Andreas Schuck (Amsterdam), Prof. Dr. Carlos Jalali (Aveiro), Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kritzinger (Vienna), Prof. Dr. Nicolas Demertzis (Athens), Prof. Dr. Ralph Negrine (Sheffield).

Short description

The results of the European Parliament Election in 2014 are alarming for the European Union: We have seen Euroskeptic parties of different ends of the political spectrum as the right-wing UK Independence Party in Britain or the radical left SYRIZA in Greece as the big winners of the elections. We can observe, that Citizens’ permissive consensus towards the European Union has started to dissolve. The question of European Integration seems to become a real political issue and a new type of parties, which represent a Euroskeptic position, has evolved.

Against this background, our research project focuses on the role of the political parties in this evolution. We pose the question, if national parties today mobilize – if yes under which conditions and how – on EU integration and thereby foster the politicization of EU integration. First, we want to shed light on the strategic behavior of political parties by putting EU topics on the agenda looking at “issue traditionalists” (mainstream parties) and “issue entrepreneurs” (non-established parties). Second, we want to analyze which parties are successful in voicing their position in the media and what reaction this might force among other parties – especially looking at Euroskeptic parties as challengers to the established party system. By looking at the interplay between the party and the mass media agenda, we are able to study the evolution of issue politicization in the public sphere.

We use an international comparative study design including seven countries with lower and higher Euroskepticism (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, UK, Greece, and Portugal). We analyze political parties‘ strategic communication (including press releases as well as campaign material) and the coverage of two quality newspapers per country in the run-up to the 2014 EP elections. For two countries (Germany and Austria) we conduct a longitudinal design going back until 2008.

The project is funded by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft“ (DFG) and the „Swiss National Science Foundation“ (FNSNF).

See also here.

Relevant Publications

    Sebastian Adrian Popa, Zoltán Fazekas, Daniela Braun & Melanie-Marita
    Leidecker-Sandmann (2019): Informing the Public: How Party Communication Builds Opportunity
    Structures, Political Communication. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2019.1666942

    Antl-Wittenberg, E. & Maier, M. (revise and resubmit). Blaming beyond Borders. Responsibility Framing in Multi-Level Governance Systems in Times of Crisis.

    Leidecker-Sandmann, M., Antl-Wittenberg, E., Adam, S. & Maier, M. (under review). Struggle for Economic Issue Ownership? Strategic communication of political parties in times o the European financial crisis.

    Maier, M., Jalali, C, Jansen, S., Leidecker-Sandmann, M., Eugster, B., Adam, S., Negrine, Ralph & Demertzis, N. (under review). When Do European Election Campaigns Become about Europe? An Analysis of Parties’ Strategic Communication in the Run-up to the 2014 EP Elections.

    Adam, S., Eugster, B., Antl-Wittenberg, E., Azrout, R., Möller, J., de Vreese, C., Maier, M. & Sylvia Kritzinger (2019). News media’s position-taking regarding the European Union: The synchronization of mass media’s reporting and commentating in the 2014 European Parliament elections. Journal of European Public Policy, (26), 1. DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2017. 1375546.

    Jansen, S. A., Eugster, B., Adam, S. & Maier, M. (2018): Who Drives the Agenda: Media or Parties? A Seven-Country Comparison in the Run-Up to the 2014 European Parliament Elections,: The International Journal of Press/Politics. 10.1177/1940161218805143

    Adam, S., Antl-Wittenberg, E., Eugster, B., Leidecker-Sandmann, M., Maier, M., & Schmidt, F. (2017). Strategies of Pro-European Parties in the Face of a Eurosceptic Challenge. European Union Politics, 18(2), 260–282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116516661248

    Maier, M., Bacherle, P., Adam, S., & Leidecker-Sandmann, M. (2017). The Interplay between Parties and Media in Putting EU-Issues on the Agenda. A temporal pattern analysis of the 2014 European Parliamentary election campaigns in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Party Politics. (0), 135406881770053. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068817700532

    Adam, S., & Maier, M. (2016). Campaigning on or Downplaying European Union Integration? Explaining the Salience Parties Attach to EU Matters in European Parliamentary Election Campaigns. In W. van der Brug & C. H. de Vreese (Eds.), (Un)Intended Consequences of European Parliamentary Elections (pp. 148–170). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Maier, M., Maier, J., Baumert, A., Jahn, N., Krause, S., & Adam, S. (2015). Measuring Citizens’ Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Towards the European Union. European Union Politics, 16(3), 369–385. https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116515577454

    Maier, M., Adam, S., & Maier, J. (2012). The Impact of Identity and Economic Cues on Citizens’ EU Support: An Experimental Study on the Effects of Party Communication in the Run-Up to the 2009 European Parliament Elections. European Union Politics, 13(4), 580–603. https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116512453957

    Adam, S., & Maier, M. (2011). National Parties as Politicizers of EU Integration? Party Campaign Communication in the Run-Up to the 2009 European Parliament Election. European Union Politics, 12(3), 431–453. https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116511410234

     

    Codebook for a Content Analysis of Media and Party Communication

    Maier M, Adam S, de Vreese C, Leidecker-Sandmann M, Eugster B, Schmidt F, Antl- Wittenberg, E (2014) Politicization of EU integration. Codebook for a content analysis of media and party communication. Available at: http://www.ikmb.unibe.ch/codebuch_eu2014

    Also available at: www.kompsych.uni-landau.de/codebuch-eu2014/

      Meet us at the following Conferences

      Bathelt, S., Eugster, B., Maier, M., Adam, S. (2017, November). Still the question: Who sets Europe on the agenda – political parties or mass media? A seven country comparison in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament elections. ECREA Pol Comm Interim Conference 2017, Zürich.

      Antl-Wittenberg, E. (2017, November). Scapegoating Europe?! International Comparison of Responsibility Framing in the Media Coverage about the European Financial Crisis in Austria, Germany, and Portugal. ECREA Pol Comm Interim Conference 2017, Zürich.

      Adam, S., Eugster, B., Antl-Wittenberg, E., & Kritzinger, S. (2016, June). Faces of Euroskepticism in the mass media - a seven country analysis of mass media communication in the run-up to the EP elections 2014. ICA 2016 Conference, Fukuoka.

      Maier, M., Leidecker-Sandmann, M., Schmidt, F., & Jalali, C. (2016, June). The end of silencing strategies towards EU Integration? An analysis of parties' communication in the run-up to the EP elections 2014. ICA 2016 Conference, Fukuoka.

      Antl-Wittenberg, E. & Maier, M. (2016, June). Blaming the EU? An International Comparison of Responsibility Attributions in Media Coverage about the Financial Crisis. ECPR Standing Group Europe, Trient.

      Leidecker-Sandmann, M., Eugster, B., & Antl-Wittenberg, E. (2016, March). Viel Blabla und wenig Inhalt? Wie konkret uns Parteien und Medien über politische Positionen zu Themen Europäischer Politik informieren. DGPuK 2016 Conference, Leipzig.

      Maier, M., Bacherle, P., Adam, S., & Leidecker, M. (2016, April). Analyzing the interplay between political parties and media using temporal pattern analysis. MPSA 2016 Conference, Chicago.

      Maier, M., Adam, S., Leidecker, M., & Eugster, B. (2015, September). Political parties' and media's interplay in politicizing EU Integration: A six-country analysis of party communication and media coverage in the 2014 EP election campaigns. IJPP 2015 Conference, Oxford.

      Antl-Wittenberg, E. (2015, August). Blaming the EU?! An international comparison of responsibility attributioins in strategic political communication. ECREA PolCom 2015 Conference, Odense.

      Leidecker, M., & Eugster, B. (2015, August). 'Empty phrases' versus 'clear-cut positions'. Political parties' and media's communication in the run-up to the 2014 European election. ECREA PolCom 2015 Conference, Odense.

      Maier, M., Adam, S., Leidecker, M., Eugster, B., Antl-Wittenberg, E., & Schmidt, F. (2015, August). Strategies of pro-EU parties in times of euroskeptic challenge. A six country comparison of strategic party communication in the run-up to the 2014 European parliament election. ECREA PolCom 2015 Conference, Odense.

      Antl-Wittenberg, E., & Leidecker, M. (2015, May). Framing von Verantwortung im Kontext der Europäischen Finanzkrise. Ein internationaler Vergleich der deutschen und österreichischen Presseberichterstattung. DGPuK 2015 Conference, Darmstadt.

      Maier, M., Adam, S., Leidecker, M., Eugster, B., Antl-Wittenberg, E., & Schmidt, F. (2015, March). The interplay between right-wing Euroskeptics and pro-European Mainstream parties. A comparison of Party communication in Germany, Austria, and the UK in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament election. ACCESS 2015 Conference, Amsterdam.

      Adam, S., Maier, M., Eugster, B., Leidecker, M., Antl-Wittenberg, E., & Schmidt, F. (2015, March). The interplay between right-wing Euroskeptics and pro-European mainstream parties. A comparison of party communication in Germany, Austria, and the UK in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament election. SGKM 2015 conference, Berne.

      Maier, M., Maier, J., & Adam, S. (2014, July). Distinguishing Effects of Content and Source in Party Communication on Citizens’ Attitudes towards Europe. ISPP 2014 conference, Rome.

      Maier, M., Adam, S., Leidecker, M., Eugster, B., Antl, E., & Arlt, D. (2014, September).  Politicization of EU integration – the right-wing challenge for mainstream parties’ 2014 EP campaign communication. ECPR 2014 conference, Glasgow.

      Leidecker, M., & Antl-Wittenberg, E. (2014, November). Competition for economic issue ownership? Parties' strategic communication behavior in times of the Euro crisis. Workshop 'Campaigning for Europe 2014', Annweiler.

      Adam, S., & Maier, M. (2014, November). The role of national parties for the politicization of EU Integration. Workshop 'Campaigning for Europe 2014', Annweiler.

      Leidecker, M., & Antl-Wittenberg, E. (2014, November). Downplaying or highlighting the Euro crisis? Strategic political communication in the run-Up to the 2014 European Parliament elections in Germany and Austria. ECREA 2014 conference, Lissabon.