Brexit and the Role of the Press and Online Media in Re-Narrating Europe’s Discourse before and after the Referendum

Thursday, July 13, 2017
John McIntyre - Room 201 (University of Glasgow)
Marzia Maccaferri , Goldsmiths College, University of London
Present-day debate seems less intellectually-driven and academic in his language, and more in touch with the public opinion with evidence of the penetration of populist attitude into the traditional political space.   

Starting from here, this paper will question the role of traditional and online media in narrating and re-narrating the Brexit discourse and the European question, both before and after the referendum. Sources will be traditional British quality press, newspaper and magazines, and online media.

Drawing from Historical Discourse Analysis and Critical studies and built upon a historical approach, this paper will examine how the current re-narration of the European question is reproducing and reinterpreting historical arguments vis-à-vis old clichés. Does Brexit debate shape a new form of British Euroscepticism based on a new sense of economic confidence?  Does the new discursive construction of Europe consist in a confrontation between this new sense of confidence in the nation’s potentialities, and the pursue of a new international role for Britain as a champion of freedom and as an example of democracy? How important is the discourse of historical categories as British ‘splendid isolation’ or ‘special relationship’, and ‘British cultural peculiarity’ or ‘political traditions? Does the discursive construction of Brexit parallel the widely held view of populism as a consequence of economic insecurity? Or, alternatively, can Brexit populist discourse be explained as a retro reaction by a once-predominant traditional political culture to progressive value changes? Does Brexit represent a new ‘cultural cleavage’ dividing Populists from Cosmopolitans?