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A Mediator on the World Stage?—How the EU's Commitment in Foreign Affairs is Portrayed by New Zealand and Australian Media

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‘European identity’ is as much a contested concept as is the role of the European Union in foreign affairs. This article combines the two concepts and introduces a third variable, ‘the Other’, in order to address the following questions: How do non-Europeans perceive the EU on the world stage? Is a tentative identity as a mediator in foreign affairs conveyed in the EU's conduct of foreign policy? Analysing 10 newspapers, 4 television bulletins, and 830 public surveys from Australia and New Zealand in the first half of 2004, this article argues that the EU's efforts to further democracy and peace are often marginalised in Australian and New Zealand perceptions. Nevertheless, subtle traces of perceptions of the EU as a potent global actor promoting human rights and environmental sustainability and challenging unilateral US policy courses were detected.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany 2: National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 3: Contemporary Europe Research Centre, the University of Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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