Patrick Bijsmans and alumna Christiane Barth win best article prize

Patrick Bijsmans (Department of Politics) and MA European Studies alumna Christiane Barth have been awarded the 2018 Journal of Contemporary European Studies Best Article Prize for their work entitled ‘The Maastricht Treaty and public debates about European integration: The emergence of a European public sphere?’.

Their open access article discusses the gradual convergence of public debates on Europe at the time of the Maastricht Treaty.

The article looks at the Maastricht Treaty from the perspective of the development of a European public sphere. While this treaty has widely been identified as a turning point in European integration, little dedicated research has been done into how ‘Maastricht’ affected media discourses about Europe. In this article, the authors shed more light on this matter by means of a qualitative frame analysis of media discourses in Britain and Germany, two countries that have traditionally had different perspectives on European integration. They show that in the course of the debate about the Maastricht Treaty the media discourses in the two countries gradually converged along the same aspects of European integration and increasingly used negative values to evaluate these aspects. This convergence of debates can be seen as representing a nascent transnational public sphere for the discussion of EU affairs.

The Prize Jury was chaired by Chares Demetriou (Lund University and a member of the journal’s Editorial Committee) with two other members, Joerg Baudner (University of Osnabruk) and Alaric Searle (University of Salford).

The open access article can be freely downloaded here.

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