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ISSN: 2183-2439

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Measuring Receptivity to Eurosceptic Media Discourses in the Vicinity of War: Evidence from Romania

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Abstract:  Ever since its accession to the EU, Romania was considered an exceptional case among member states, given the unwavering high levels of popular support for the EU. However, the most recent elections held in Romania brought about the unexpected emergence of the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), a far-right populist party that strongly opposes the European project, which it accuses of resembling “a harmful hegemony.” The war in Ukraine represented another chance for AUR to bash the EU for its reaction in supporting Ukraine. The current article examines the degree to which anti-EU appeals of AUR influence Eurosceptic attitudes in Romania. In doing so, the present research pursues two distinct, but complementary goals. The first is to perform a content analysis of Eurosceptic narratives disseminated by AUR through its main social media channels since the start of the war. The second goal is then, employing four logistic regression models and using unique data collected through an online interactive survey, to test which of these narratives matter the most in shaping Eurosceptic attitudes. The article allows us to develop a nuanced understanding of what triggered a change of heart in a significant part of the Romanian electorate vis-à-vis the EU and the influence of Eurosceptic media discourse in this sense.

Keywords:  Euroscepticism; far-right; political communication; populism; Romania; social media; war

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v11i4.7122


© Mihnea S. Stoica, Andreea Voina. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.