Quotation Kopf, Susanne. 2020. ‘This is exactly how the Nazis ran it’: (De)legitimising the EU on Wikipedia. Discourse and Society. 31 (4), 411-427.




This paper addresses how the Wikipedia community has grappled with controversial elements of the EU’s history from 2001 to 2019. It also examines what perspective on the EU the Wikipedia editors develop in debates about the institution’s history and if/how the community has (de)legitimised the EU’s existence today in the context of discussions about the EU’s predecessors. The data examined consist of Wikipedia contributors’ debates that took place on a Wikipedia discussion site (‘Talk Page’). Taking a corpus-assisted approach combined with argumentation analysis and aspects of Systemic Functional Linguistics, I found that Wikipedia editors repeatedly propose that Nazi Germany might have been a precursor of the EU today. However, the Wikipedia community ultimately rejects this notion and emphasises the voluntary nature guiding the EU’s creation process. Thus, while the EU’s legitimacy is indeed contested in the course of the debates, the Wikipedia community eventually rejects this challenge.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Discourse and Society
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title ‘This is exactly how the Nazis ran it’: (De)legitimising the EU on Wikipedia
Volume 31
Number 4
Year 2020
Page from 411
Page to 427
Reviewed? Y
URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0957926520903524
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926520903524
Open Access N


Kopf, Susanne (Details)
Institute for English Business Communication (Mautner) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6903 Humanities (interdisciplinary) (Details)
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