Rethinking Britain and the European Union: politicians, the media and public opinion reconsidered

Paul Copeland*, Nathaniel Copsey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article re-examines the role of the media in the UK debate on EU membership. It argues that the embedding of euroscepticism in the UK stems neither from a single phase in the UK-EU relationship, nor from the agency of the UK press or its proprietors. Rather, it resulted from the long-standing absence of any pro-European faction within the British polity was able to argue for, or defend, the European Union within the UK national debate. In explaining this, we expand on the concept of 'issue capture' understood as the ability of a vocal minority to dominate the UK's political debate about the EU in the absence of genuine opposition to counteract negative claims and arguments. The findings are drawn from analysis of a dataset that codes more than 16,400 UK newspaper articles published between 1974-2013.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-726
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Volume55
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Copeland, P., & Copsey, N. (2017). Rethinking Britain and the European Union: politicians, the media and public opinion reconsidered. Journal of Common Market Studies, Early view, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12527. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • Euroscepticism
  • role of the media in politics
  • the UK and the EU

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