Catarina Passos

Catarina Passos

Participant in 2009
Work history Current - Founder of uAGeN - umAGenteNobre, an (in)formation agency specialised in glocal citizenship issues; Portuguese representative of NECI - the European Network for European Citizenship and Identity.

Previously - Freelance journalist, blogger and communication assistant about European culture and politics; teacher of Communication Science; Policy Officer at Eurodoc - the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers.
Study history Current - PhD researcher in Media and Cultural Studies. Dissertation on Cultural and political mediation of European identities and European Union citizenship under construction: Portugal, France and the UK in the public sphere from 1999 to 2009.

Previously - Graduate studies in English and French Languages, Literatures and Cultures ; Postgraduate studies in Education; Postgraduate studies in Research; MA in American Studies - Dissertation on Mediating freedom of expression and public funding to the Arts in the USA, from the 1960s-70s to the 1980s-90s.
Publications . Review of The European Union and Culture. Between Economic Regulation and European Cultural Policy by Annabelle Littoz-Monnet. PEPS - Perspectives on European Politics and Society

. "EU democracy-building since 1999 in three member states' traditional and new media spheres. A critical reflection and an empirical framework for measuring and empowering (un)mediated EU voices". Paper presented at the international conference "New Media and the public sphere" at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, on 8-9 November 2012.

. "Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming - Portugal and European financial help packs". Paper presented at the conference "Shifting Landscapes: Film and Media in European context", in Bilgi, Istanbul, on 16-18 June 2006.

Phd Projects


European Identity and the Management of Public Information - Political Mareting and Political Communication Strategies and the (re)definition of Europe

Recent globalization processes have been generally demanding from identities that they re-position themselves in the face of the ‘new’ concepts of space and time, and necessarily also towards otherness and towards means of communicative interaction. The European project’s liberal tradition, seen together with the financial help packs introduced in 1992, the enlargement of 2004 and the draft constitutional treaty (now the treaty of Lisbon) suggests that Europe has again been going through a relevant moment of redefinition at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Communication has therefore been an important issue on the European agenda. I am carrying out a detailed analysis of the precise communication mechanisms by which the above mentioned European discussion occurs: at the official level (initial, intermediate and final institutional documents on the topics) as well at the (cross-) national level (newspapers and blogs from the UK, France and Portugal). Following a definition of communication that emphasizes its functions of ‘increasing the views in common’ or ‘the sharing of views’ between participants through a process of messages sent and received, it seemed interesting to me to analyse if this relation between the European project and the use of the media for divulging it, was relevant for understanding images of unification/fragmentation in Europe. Studies on the European public sphere indicate that political agents of the European construction have been failing to set their agenda to the peoples of Europe, which would explain a general lack of knowledge and debate about the European Union in general as well as, in part, poor participation in this project. The Commission’s new posture suggests it is perhaps the role of national educational systems and national Parliaments to bring dynamics and structure public dialogue about European affairs, mainly when it comes to issues of democracy and citizenship; and it suggests mainly that it is the role of national political agents and traditional national media agents to adequately set in conjunction the European agenda so that people can identify with it and perhaps identify with some of its aspects more vehemently (accumulating the European identity). In the current context of national news formats and specific audiences of traditional media as well as journalistic expertise, political agents need to know who they are talking to on each occasion and they need to be prepared to adapt their discourses accordingly. The ‘same message to all’ model has become obsolete. In this logic, only sound bites and simple, incisive and attractive symbols of identification tend to survive to being shown/quoted in traditional media. In this context also, specialists in communicative strategies and political marketing, like personal media consultants or spin doctors and opinion leaders, have become the central figures used by national politicians to disseminate their perspectives in the mass media. However, if the news format of traditional mass media does not easily allow for fully-informed incursions on the European project, their digital counterparts provide those who are willing to learn more and to participate in the European construction, with a more adequate platform for a personalized information access and interaction (accumulating a European citizenship).


Dissertation title Cultural and political mediation of European identities and European Union citizenship under construction: Portugal, France and the UK in the public sphere from 1999 to 2009.

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