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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Political communication in a European public space: language, the Internet and understanding as soft power

Rose, Richard (2008) Political communication in a European public space: language, the Internet and understanding as soft power. Journal of Common Market Studies, 46 (2). pp. 451-475. ISSN 1468-5965

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Abstract

This article demonstrates that the European Union's linguistic diversity policy is a barrier to greater popular participation in a European public space. It sets out three political communication models: elite discourse, aggregative democracy and deliberation in a European public space; each has different linguistic requirements. It presents survey evidence showing that Europeans are ‘voting with their mouths’ for a single lingua franca, resulting in English as a foreign language (EFL) becoming the most widely understood language in the EU and its use on the internet for transnational as well as domestic communication. More than one-third of Europeans now have the basic prerequisites for participation in a European public space: they are internet users and know the lingua franca of Europe, EFL. The EU's linguistic diversity policy is even more a barrier for participation in a global public space in which EFL is now the lingua franca of Asia and other continents. It concludes that knowledge of EFL does not confer soft power on Anglophones but on Europeans using it in interactions with monoglot American and English speakers.