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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 29 - 2022, No. 3

Between Europeanism and Nativism: Exploring a Cleavage Model of European Public Sphere in Social Media

, , pages: 231-249

The European Union’s common public sphere project dates back to the 1960s and relies on Europeanisation through the gradual eradication of communication boundaries between its member countries. However, it is evident by now that Europeanisation of national public spheres is hard to achieve by increasing overlaps between national public spheres, synchronisation of news reporting across national boundaries, or diffusion of Europeanist norms into national politics. The European Union’s common public sphere project may hence be in danger. This calls for explorations of other imaginable models of the public sphere for Europe. Are there traces of other modes of transnational public sphere emerging in Europe? In this article, we explore a models of the transnational public sphere which is based on an alternative concept of Europeanisation derived from the cleavage theory. By drawing on social media data and employing tools of social network analysis, we demonstrate the empirical possibility of a cleavage model of the European public sphere.

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