RECON Online Working Paper 2011/30

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Debating Humanitarian Military Interventions in the European Public Sphere


Cathleen Kantner (University of Stuttgart)


What kind of democracy might fit the developing Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) given the political developments and the evolution of public debate on security and defence issues over the last twenty years? Different model-designs for a more democratic European Union (EU) in general and a democratized Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in particular have been proposed. This paper contributes to answering this question by investigating whether and in which ways Europeans were included in a transnational European debate on humanitarian military interventions after the Cold War (1990-2005/2006). The paper analyses a full sample of 108 677 newspaper articles published in the leading conservative and liberal newspapers of six EU member states, and the US as a comparative case. It demonstrates that the ‘national’ arenas of political communication are thematically intertwined and allow ordinary citizens to make up their minds about common European issues in this highly controversial and normatively particularly sensitive realm. Transnational political communication is currently not satisfyingly fed into representative democratic institutions. However, ‘hermetic communicative borders’ between national publics are non-existent and are a poor excuse for a lack of political will to democratise the EU – one way or the other.



Common Security and Defence Policy  Democratic Deficit European Public Sphere Humanitarian Interventions Military Interventions Transnational Political Communication 



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