MEDIATIZED EU partners in the Universidad Nebrija – UANE, from Spain, published an article in July titled Constructing “Normative power Europe”: A critical analysis of the human rights narratives in Spanish media discourses on the European Union. The authors are Sonia Boulos and Gracia Abad-Quintanal, of UANE, and Marcos Mayo-Cubero and Susana De-Sousa-Ferreira, of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. You can read the abstract below and find the full text by clicking here.
Constructing “Normative power Europe”: A critical analysis of the human rights narratives in Spanish media discourses on the European Union
Abstract: The conceptualization of the EU as a normative power has become a central framework in the field of European studies. A concept that highlights the EU’s role in the promotion of normative principles, particularly those concerning its core values as laid out by article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. While the majority of academic works on NPE have mostly focused on the EU’s external action, there is a growing trend to apply this concept to the study of member States that challenge the core values of the EU. This paper takes a step further in that endeavor through the analysis of Spanish media discourses on the EU, and their role in the discursive construction of the EU as a normative power, both internally and externally. Specifically, our research focuses on how the EU’s commitment to human rights norms and the rule of law are reflected in dominant media discourses on the EU in Spanish media. To conduct our study, six national Spanish media outlets were selected based on the following criteria: Ownership; ideology; consumption; and impact. A final sample of 540 news items published between July 2021 and March 2022 were selected for analysis. Using a qualitative methodological approach that includes content analysis and critical discourse analysis, we analyzed the major discourses identified in relation to the EU, focusing on those in which the construction (or deconstruction) of the EU as a normative power is more prevalent. We also attempted to unfold how this construction is projected internally and externally.