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Insight Briefing 1

by People's Voice Media

What does the future hold for democracies across Europe?

Media discourses can be understood as a way of viewing the world (Jørgensen & Phillips, 2002), or as language used as a recreation of social, political, and cultural meaning (Greckhamer & Cilesiz, 2014). Understanding discourses - like those represented in the media - enables us to decipher how such meanings come to be and potentially, how they can be changed (Hardy and Phillips, 2004). As such, media discourses are rich source material for future-thinking activities and are useful for identifying signals about our future and to exploring the drivers of change in society.

As part of the EUARENAS project, snapshots of current affairs media content ranging from national newspapers to television broadcasts to online magazines from the UK, Poland, Italy, Finland, Germany and pan-European sources were gathered and analysed in order to scan the horizon for changes in society. Collective sense-making activities were run in each of the countries and at a European level that utilised textual and discourse analysis, horizon scanning and driver-mapping approaches to engage a diversity of voices in the exploration of the data. In total, 91 participants took part - ranging from young people to academics to members of the LGBTQ+ community to policy makers and beyond.

The learning from this work has been compiled into an insight briefing titled "Future challenges and opportunities for democracy across Europe: An initial exploration of signals and drivers of change". You can download this briefing here.

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