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Strategic communication of EU CSDP missions – measuring the EU's external legitimacy

Strategic communication of EU CSDP missions – measuring the EU's external legitimacy The European Union’s (EU’s) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has gained increasing attention as the EU faces new threats and challenges from its surroundings. As part of its CSDP, the EU currently runs six military operations and 11 civilian missions. This paper aims to analyze the EU’s social media use of four CSDP missions and operations running in two regions: in the Mediterranean and in the Western Balkans.Design/methodology/approachThe paper has a mixed-methods research design. A computer-assisted content analysis was conducted to extract data on the Twitter communication of the chosen missions, followed by a quantitative analysis on which elements of the EU’s strategic communication can be identified. The timeframe for investigation was set up between 1 January 2019 and 31 August 2020.FindingsPatterns of communication cannot be recognized either based on regional or on the civilian-military division. The strong connectivity with the accounts of other European actors and/or institutions is striking. This study finds that the concept of local ownership can be observed only at European level, local populations of the host countries are usually not targeted. Even though several elements of the EU’s strategic communication are recurrent on the missions’ official Twitter account, Twitter communication seems to be an intra-European communication tool.Originality/valueThe research revealed the main features of the Twitter communication of four CSDP missions. Due to the software-assisted methodology, measuring influence score was made possible, a feature that was still missing from academic literature regarding this specific area, the EU’s CSDP. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Strategic communication of EU CSDP missions – measuring the EU's external legitimacy

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6166
eISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/tg-11-2020-0314
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The European Union’s (EU’s) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has gained increasing attention as the EU faces new threats and challenges from its surroundings. As part of its CSDP, the EU currently runs six military operations and 11 civilian missions. This paper aims to analyze the EU’s social media use of four CSDP missions and operations running in two regions: in the Mediterranean and in the Western Balkans.Design/methodology/approachThe paper has a mixed-methods research design. A computer-assisted content analysis was conducted to extract data on the Twitter communication of the chosen missions, followed by a quantitative analysis on which elements of the EU’s strategic communication can be identified. The timeframe for investigation was set up between 1 January 2019 and 31 August 2020.FindingsPatterns of communication cannot be recognized either based on regional or on the civilian-military division. The strong connectivity with the accounts of other European actors and/or institutions is striking. This study finds that the concept of local ownership can be observed only at European level, local populations of the host countries are usually not targeted. Even though several elements of the EU’s strategic communication are recurrent on the missions’ official Twitter account, Twitter communication seems to be an intra-European communication tool.Originality/valueThe research revealed the main features of the Twitter communication of four CSDP missions. Due to the software-assisted methodology, measuring influence score was made possible, a feature that was still missing from academic literature regarding this specific area, the EU’s CSDP.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 14, 2021

Keywords: Strategic communication; Twitter; CSDP; EUBAM Libya; EUFOR Althea; EUNAVFOR med IRINI; EULEX Kosovo

References