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Debating the EU Constitution in France

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This paper focuses on the argumentative approaches and the rhetorical strategies employed by political actors in France in favour of or against the EU Constitutional Treaty (TCE), as they appeared in four French daily newspapers, Le Monde, Le Figaro, LibĂ©ration and Aujourd’hui en France (national edition of Le Parisien), before the 29th of May 2005 referendum. In a qualitative discourse analysis and with the aid of argumentation theories and political communication approaches, the study investigates how the European Union’s Constitution, identity and future were represented and discussed by French political actors through the media in their effort to obtain public adherence before the referendum. Inevitably, the role of the media and the mediation process in the construction and transcription of the political discourse is also discussed.
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Keywords: EU Constitution; European Union; European construction; constitutional debates; political discourse and argumentation in the media; representations of Europe/EU in France

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 9, 2010

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