Visual discourse, imagery and EU politics

Kennet Lynggaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This chapter introduces the study of visual discourse and imagery into the discursive institutionalism. The chapter argues that visual discourse is especially important in a multicultural and multilingual European context. Using the literature on symbols, the chapter elaborates a fourfold understanding of the roles of imagery in politics. The visualisation of ‘green Europe’ by the European Commission and a key non-governmental organisation in this area—the European Environmental Bureau—is illustrative of the multitude roles of imagery in European Union politics. It is argued that in highly institutionalised discursive fields such as green Europe, imagery allows for identity building and the terse communication of organisational interests. Furthermore, imagery contributes to visualizing opposition amongst otherwise political collaborators, opposition, which may more than anything serve internal organizational purposes by mobilising supporters around common ideals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Studies in European Union Politics
Number of pages20
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesPalgrave Studies in European Union Politics

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

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