Esther Ademmer & Tobias Stöhr (Kiel Institute, RA: Poverty Reduction, Equity, and Development)
The widespread view that the refugee crisis has sparked unprecedented levels of European Union (EU) politicisation has rarely been backed by systematic empirical evidence. We investigate this claim using a novel dataset of several thousand user comments posted below articles of German media outlets on Facebook. Despite considerable EU authority in the policy area, extensive media coverage of the crisis, and the rise of a populist party in Germany, our results suggest that the politicisation of Europe remains low among social media users, especially when compared to national and subnational levels of governance. When talking about Europe, users hardly refer to EU institutions or policies. Instead, other member states and notions of the geographic or cultural space dominate the debate.
Esther Ademmer (Kiel Institute) — Anna Leupold (University of Zurich) — Tobias Stöhr (Kiel Institute)