Dr. Maria Raquel Freire (Centre for Social Studies – CES and Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra) participated in the 17th Biennial International Conference of the European Union Studies Association, between May 19 and 21, in Miami, United States. Her paper, co-authored with Dr. Sofia José Santos, Moara Crivelente and Luiza Bezerra, was titled Discourses on Europeanisation. Elections, the pandemic and the European Union: A media analysis of populist discourses in Portugal. The abstract can be read below.
Discourses on Europeanisation. Elections, the pandemic and the European Union: A media analysis of populist discourses in Portugal
This paper looks at how the discourses on Europeanization in Portugal have evolved between September 2021 and January 2022, a timespan marked by a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, one budget crisis leading to the dissolution of the Parliament, and two electoral campaigns – local and national Parliamentary elections. It unpacks the identity and pragmatic factors that have underpinned a supporting narrative towards the EU project or one of a more critical or skeptical tone, exploring whether and how these narratives were co-opted for populist discourses among political actors. For that purpose, we analyze three national newspapers, through quantitative content analysis and qualitative critical discourse analysis. The paper concludes that there is a normalization of EU discourse in the media, that pragmatic factors are more visible than identity ones in media representations, and that populism has been limited, and in several instances mixed up with anti-government rhetoric or electoralist discourse.
Authors: Maria Raquel Freire, Sofia José Santos, Moara Crivelente and Luiza Bezerra.