De-Europeanization as discursive disengagement: has Georgia “got lost” on its way to European integration?

Lia Tsuladze, Nino Abzianidze, Mariam Amashukeli &Lela Javakhishvili

New article published in Journal of European Integration.

This article looks at de-Europeanization as a progressive disengagement between domestic authorities and EU actors manifested through their discourses. The authors view discursive disengagement as consisting of two major aspects: Discursive opposition between domestic authorities and the EU reflected in their conflicting statements and the intensification of this discursive opposition, whereby the domestic authorities’ discourses shift from defensive to offensive ones. The authors trace the respective developments based on the case of Georgia, looking at the discursive interaction between domestic and EU actors in the Georgian TV media from July 2021 to June 2022. The research has revealed Georgian authorities’ discursive opposition to EU actors behind the façade of seemingly pro-European statements. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this discursive opposition has escalated and become offensive. The authors use quantitative content analysis to map actor-discourse networks, as well as critical discourse analysis to reveal deeper layers of de-Europeanization discourse.

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