By Tamsin Murray-Leach
It would be catastrophising to claim that euroscepticism won the European elections earlier this year – but it certainly staked a claim. Two years ago, we predicted the capturing of Europe by populist parties in our study of progressive activists in Europe, The ‘Bubbling Up’ of Subterranean Politics in Europe (Kaldor and Selchow 2012). What that report found was that Europe, as a political space, was invisible to the majority of these activists; at worst, it was considered part of the problem in the current moment of crisis.
In a recent background paper, we set out to explore the dominant discourses around the euro crisis to understand why there appears to be such a mismatch between the concerns of these actors and the way in which the crisis is framed in the dominant discourse.
What we found confirmed what was suggested by our initial report: that these (primarily mediatised) narratives have (mis) represented the crisis as a predominantly economic one, rather than addressing the political concerns of these subterranean actors. It is a framing that discursively rules out alternatives to the prominent executive actors and their prescribed solutions, and which maintains political Europe as a distant ‘other’ to the majority of Europeans. Continue reading