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This book reflects on the latest developments in discourse analysis in the context of EU politics research. It explores discourse analysis as a tool to study and understand EU politics, covering key conceptual, methodological and research-strategic questions. The analytical approach advanced in this book is anchored in discursive institutionalism, the newest addition to approaches in new institutionalism. The author particularly focuses on discourse as a strategic resource for political purposes, as a device for inclusion and exclusion in policy-making, and as a means of conveying and appealing to political emotions, as well as the role visual discourse and imagery play in day-to-day EU politics. Including a variety of examples using different combinations of research techniques and data material, the book also addresses issues related to the study of discursive structures and agency, discourse conflict and consensus, causality and the time dimension in discourse analysis.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introducing Discourse Analysis in EU Politics

Abstract
This chapter approaches discourse analysis as a distinct perspective for political analysis, focussing specifically on discourse analysis within the study of European Union politics. This chapter outlines the key characteristics and research themes of discourse analysis and shows how discourse analysis over the past two decades has transformed from a marginal and scattered research endeavour towards a vibrant set of approaches to understanding EU politics. This chapter highlights five discursive analytical approaches to the study of EU politics: the governance school, the Copenhagen school, Critical Discourse Analysis, frame analysis, and the approach adopted by this book: the discursive institutionalism. The chapter concludes by presenting the aim of the book and its approach to discourse analysis.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 2. Discourse Analysis as a Research Strategy

Abstract
This chapter elaborates on the distinctiveness of discourse analysis as a research strategy. The chapter argues in favour of moving beyond otherwise fixed methodological positions by elaborating compound research strategies directed at the specific research question at hand. In doing so, the chapter discusses the challenges associated with conducting discourse analysis, including those associated with the role of agency and structure, how to approach the study of discursive conflicts and consensus making, causality and causal mechanisms, the choice of an analytical time dimension, and how discourse analysis may speak to other types of theoretical and analytical frameworks. The chapter concludes by outlining a general framework for analysis binding together the concepts of ideas, discourse and institution.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 3. Discourse Analysis, Data and Research Techniques

Abstract
This chapter offers concrete guidelines to types of data and research techniques useful for carrying out discourse analysis in the context of European Union politics. The chapter discusses the pros and cons of available data for the purpose of analysing discourses on EU politics including documents, surveys, interviews, ‘natural occurring talk’ and non-linguistic material. The chapter further addresses the advantages and challenges to research techniques capturing discourse, including content analysis, computer-assisted text analysis, and the analysis of problem perceptions. The chapter argues in favour of combining types of data and research techniques depending on the research purpose at hand.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 4. Discourse and EU Policy-Making

Abstract
This chapter focuses on political discourses as a device of inclusion and exclusion in European Union policy-making. The claim is that discourse is decisive for which actors are included and excluded from EU policy-making, for setting the procedures that guide decision making, and for which issues stand a chance for serious consideration in EU political agendas. For the purpose of studying the roles of discourse in EU policy-making, this chapter outlines discursive path-dependency as a concept of discursive resistance and further elaborates a series of mechanisms for the study of change, including that of discursive ambiguity, processes of translation, discursive entrepreneurship and expertise as the advancement of analytical ideas in policy-making. The chapter presents empirical examples from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and concludes by suggesting a series of relationships between the mechanisms of discursive resistance and change.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 5. Discourse and the Strategic Usage of Europe

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the use of ‘Europe’ as a strategic resource in politics. It outlines a discursive institutional framework of conditions and indicators for the study of the strategic use of ‘Europe’. The chapter argues that the general transnational, multi-level and polycentric nature of European Union politics supplies an especially favourable environment for using discourse strategically. It goes further by suggesting that institutionally embedded discourse and the political authority attached to political actors are powerful conditions that enable the strategic use of discourse. This chapter provides an in-depth empirical study of the use of ‘Europe’ for strategic purposes in national politics focussing on the banking sector in two EU member states: Ireland and Denmark. The claim is, first, that European integration discourse has profound but also diverse impacts on politics across EU member states. Second, discourse about ‘Europe’ is a powerful resource for national decision-makers and has been used to initiate and implement a wide variety of national policy and institutional reforms.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 6. Discourse, Myths and Emotions in EU Politics

Abstract
This chapter carries the study of political myths and emotions into the discursive institutionalism. It argues that political myths and emotions are crucial for understanding both how the constitution of the European Union becomes a political reality and how the integration process occurs. Appeals to political myths and emotions clearly play a role—perhaps even a key role—in communicating and legitimising EU policy and institutional choices, yet the key argument in this chapter is that political emotions are also crucial to understanding coordination among political elites. The political roles of myths and emotions are illustrated by examples of the role and emotional appeal of ‘green Europe’ and ‘social Europe’ among transnational non-governmental organisations.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 7. Visual Discourse, Imagery and EU Politics

Abstract
This chapter introduces the study of visual discourse and imagery into the discursive institutionalism. The chapter argues that visual discourse is especially important in a multicultural and multilingual European context. Using the literature on symbols, the chapter elaborates a fourfold understanding of the roles of imagery in politics. The visualisation of ‘green Europe’ by the European Commission and a key non-governmental organisation in this area—the European Environmental Bureau—is illustrative of the multitude roles of imagery in European Union politics. It is argued that in highly institutionalised discursive fields such as green Europe, imagery allows for identity building and the terse communication of organisational interests. Furthermore, imagery contributes to visualizing opposition amongst otherwise political collaborators, opposition, which may more than anything serve internal organizational purposes by mobilising supporters around common ideals.
Kennet Lynggaard

Chapter 8. Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

Abstract
This concluding chapter takes stock and looks ahead by addressing challenges associated with theory building and elaborating sensible research designs and by revising the general analytical framework employed in the book.
Kennet Lynggaard

Backmatter

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