War and Intervention in the Transnational Public Sphere: Problem-solving and European identity-formation (Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies)

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9780415738149: War and Intervention in the Transnational Public Sphere: Problem-solving and European identity-formation (Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies)

The post-Cold War era saw an unexpected increase in intra-state violence against ethnic and religious groups, brutal civil wars and asymmetric conflicts. Those crises posed fundamental questions for the European Union and its member states, to which Europe has so far proven unable to develop satisfactory answers.

This book contends that public debates over wars and humanitarian military interventions after the Cold War represent an evolving process of comprehension and collective interpretation of new realities. Employing innovative computer-linguistic methods, it examines the dynamics of this debate across Europe and compares it to that of the United States. In doing so, it argues that transnational political communication has shaped European identity-formation in significant ways and that, in trying to come to terms with important crises and institutional events, shared understandings of Europe have emerged. Looking at evidence from a wide range of countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and spanning a continuous period of 16 years, this book empirically analyses these shared understandings of the EU as a problem-solving and ethical community.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, EU politics, security studies, comparative politics, political communication and European integration.

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About the Author:

Cathleen Kantner is Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the Institute of Social Sciences of Stuttgart University, Germany.


Cathleen Kantner has offered a remarkably conceptually rich and empirically rigorous examination of sense and identity making in humanitarian interventions in the post-Cold War world. This book is a major contribution to the international relations constructivist corpus. Yet beyond this important contribution, Kantner’s book should be read by political communication scholars who are interested in war, media, and global affairs. Steven Livingston, The George Washington University, USA.

Conventional wisdom has it that Europe does not constitute a community of communication with regard to wars and humanitarian interventions. Yet, Cathleen Kantner demonstrates that transnational European public spheres exist even with regard to war and peace. The book is based on the largest database on transnational communication so far and employs new methodological tools such as corpus-linguistic quantitative content analysis. A must-read for anybody interested in transnational communication! Thomas Risse, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

An excellent addition to comparative political communication. Kantner contributes significant theoretical concepts, methodological innovations and empirical evidence on debates in Europe and the U.S. on war and humanitarian intervention. The provocative analysis of "transnational political communication" and "European identity-formation," is very useful for any future research in these areas. Eytan Gilboa, Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

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