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Europe for the Hearts and Minds: The Role of the News Media and Emotions in Creating European Citizens

Europe for the Hearts and Minds: The Role of the News Media and Emotions in Creating European Citizens


"In times of ailing public support and claims of a legitimacy deficit, one of the most crucial tasks of the EU is to find out if its citizens consider themselves European, i.e. are willing to be active European citizens. This task will be addressed by the Commission in 2013, the European Year of Citizens, which aims at creating awareness of EU citizenship rights. Whether there is an evolution of the European public into a society of active European citizens, however, also depends on how the media cover the EU every day. Research suggests that, beyond providing information, it is the media’s potential to cause emotions that will significantly predict how “European” citizens feel and act. The role of emotions is thus one very important aspect of media influence in the EU citizenship context, but surprisingly a severely understudied one. Therefore, I propose two experiments that will study if and how emotions in the news media influence perceptions of European citizenship. Each experiment will be carried out in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Greece. I will first investigate, if emotion-eliciting new stories (e.g., an article about fear of financial losses) have stronger effects on European citizenship than stories that consist of only factual information. To specify this effect, I will also test, if this effects depends on whether positive (e.g., enthusiasm) or negative (e.g., anger) emotions are at play. I have a strong background in media effects research, and have investigated the role of emotions in political communication. This complements the Scientist in charge’s (Dr. Michael Bruter) expertise on European citizenship. The research will be conducted at The London School of Economics and Political Science, one of the world’s leading universities in the field of EU politics and political communication. This excellent training environment will ensure the successful execution of the project and will be vital for the development of my future academic career."
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Houghton Street 1
Wc2a 2ae London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 110 803,20

Administrative Contact

Davina Nauth (Ms.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 328514


Closed project

  • Start date

    17 June 2013

  • End date

    16 June 2014

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 110 803,20

  • EU contribution

    € 110 803,20

Coordinated by:


United Kingdom

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