Representations of the European Union and the nation(-state) in Italian party discourse
A critical analysis of electoral platforms and parliamentary debates
Research on party attitudes towards European integration has concentrated on the relationship between party ideology and positions related to European integration as an economic and/or political process, ignoring the representational aspect of party discourse. This study aims to contribute towards filling this gap by examining how Italian parties represent the European Union, the nation(-state) and the relationship between the two in their electoral platforms and parliamentary debates. We shall therefore analyse critically how parties use specific representations of Europe, the EU and the nation to frame and support their ideologies and positions and how they shape these representations in different ways depending on the challenge they are confronted with. We shall also look beyond presumed clear-cut relationships between party ideology and party attitudes towards European integration, exploring the complexities and ambiguities of party discourse and highlighting how specific EU or nation representations are used as legitimisation strategies by parties in combination to their left- or right-wing ideology.
Keywords: Representations, discourse, European Union, parties, Italy, Europe, electoral platforms, parliamentary debates
Published online: 27 May 2004
Cited by 6 other publications
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