Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

The images of the EU framed by Russian officials in social media

Show full item record

Title: The images of the EU framed by Russian officials in social media
Author(s): Lambin, Viktor
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies
Specialisation: Social Sciences Study Track
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2019
The contemporary crisis between Russia and the EU, reflects, among other things, in the identity construction in both European and Russian domestic discourses. In view of the current conflict between Russia and Europe, it is crucial to comprehend how both actors perceive each other and the reality(ies) of the current status of their bilateral relations. According to the post-structuralists, foreign policies are dependent on the representations of “us” and “them”, articulated in national discourses. Such constructs are often represented through mass media, and given the growing adaptation of IT technologies, social media specifically become a suitable platform for the distribution of the images of “us” and “them” for both domestic and foreign audiences. The study seeks to identify which images of the EU are framed by Russian officials in social media and whether such frames correlate with some aspects of Russian domestic and foreign agendas. The thesis focuses on the images of the EU framed by Russian officials in the period between March 2019 and December 2019, a drastic period of EU-Russia relations, triggered by the Ukrainian crisis. Social media posts of 10 Russian officials on matters related to the EU are examined with post-structuralist discourse approach. The adopted methodology allows to explore, identify and explain images of the EU framed by Russian officials in online dimension. In addition, the method sheds light not only on the way Russian officials perceive the EU but also on the way they construct Russia itself, as a political, social and values antithesis of Europe, through the framing of the EU. The identified images, framed by Russian officials, constitute mainly negative framing of the EU, albeit seldom neutral and positive framings appear as well. The analysis determines the central aspects of the EU’s domestic and foreign policies, reflected by the officials. Besides, the results of the study demonstrate how Russian officials implicitly perceive the political and social situation in Russia as well as Russia’s foreign policy status, by comparing these aspects with Europe. The framing, which Russian officials discursively construct in social media, exhibits a comprehensive political and normative split between Russia and the EU. This process had been gradually evolving until 2014, and then sharply accelerated. At this point, the current situation appears to be the lowest point for bilateral relations between Moscow and Brussels. Even though Russian officials regularly appeal to Moscow’s determination to cooperate with the EU and the West in general, such a peacekeeping message had no considerable effect on EU-Russia relations.
Keyword(s): The EU Russia social media identity construction discourse officials

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Lambin_Viktor_thesis_2021.pdf 1.294Mb PDF

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record