Party Discourse about European Future: Political Parties, Elections, Manifestos and Metaphors

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Jan Kovár, Metropolitan University Prague & Institute of International Relations Prague, Czech Republic

    Political parties play an important role in offering the voters different choices on the European Union (EU) and European integration. The literature on party positions on European integration and closely related literature on Euroscepticism relies largely, from the methodological point of view, on coding of election manifestos/programs and expert surveys/judgments. Recently, these two conventional approaches were complemented by the EU Profiler project, a pan-European research endeavour, that invites political parties to place themselves on political issues related to the European integration process. This paper opts for a different approach to study the party positions on European integration, an approach based on the analysis of metaphors used by political parties in the discourse about the future form of European integration. Although the analysis of metaphors has been providing an increasingly popular tool of examining international politics since the early 1990s, the application to studies of European integration and the EU has been much scarcer. On the basis of key conceptual metaphors used in discourses on the future of the EU that are identified from relevant literature, I analyze Czech political parties’ election manifestos issued for the 2004 and the 2009 European Parliament elections. The analysis is, subsequently, connected to party positions on European integration and Euroscepticism.