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Title: An analysis of the impact of the United Kingdom print and broadcast media upon the legitimacy of the European Parliament in Britain
Author: McLeod, Aileen J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 668X
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines whether and to what degree the UK media undermine the legitimacy of the European Parliament in Britain. It begins by arguing that in respect of the EP, the concept of legitimacy needs reappraisal. It then offers a definition of "meaningful legitimacy" for the EP and identifies those indicators, which will allow the presence or absence of meaningful legitimacy among the British public to be examined. On the basis of the definition offered and using the indicators identified the empirical evidence for the absence of legitimacy is reviewed. It is found that meaningful legitimacy for the EP is absent among the British public. Media discourse theory is then outlined and a particular application of media discourse theory is used to examine the British media. An empirical examination of the perception of the legitimacy of the European Parliament in the British Euro-sceptic and the British pro-European press respectively is offered. Problems related to bias in its various forms, how to identify it and its impact, are then outlined. The impact on legitimacy of the British broadcast media, especially the BBC, is evaluated through a detailed data analysis. Finally, the thesis concludes that meaningful legitimacy is absent and that the media, although not solely responsible for this, have played a major deliberative role in preventing meaningful legitimacy for the European Parliament being established. At the same time their coverage reflects this absence of legitimacy. Since the EP's meaningful legitimacy in its own right has not been subject to any substantial examination, this has left a growing gap in the literature. By offering a definition of legitimacy which can be operationalised and used in an empirical assessment of the impact of the UK media on the EP's legitimacy, this thesis makes a distinctive contribution to future research in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Media studies