South African Perceptions on the European Union: Soft Power and Security

  • Kirsty AgnewEmail author
  • Lorenzo Fioramonti
Part of the The European Union in International Affairs book series (EUIA)


This chapter looks at the way in which the European Union is portrayed and perceived by the South African media and the South African public at large. Based on data collected in 2015, this chapter focuses on the perception of the EU in a time characterised by crises and declining significance of “great powers”. Against the backdrop of the EU Global Strategy, this chapter contrasts the image projected by the EU with what is observed within South Africa. Referring to previous studies on South African perceptions of the EU, this study looks at the way the EU is framed in the South African media, as well as the public response based on a public opinion survey. The findings show a discrepancy in the ambivalent and slightly critical way the South African media frame the EU compared to the more positive opinion the public holds of its position in the global arena. This chapter addresses the local contexts that foster such discrepancies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Governance InnovationUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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