The Visibility of the European Union as a Development Actor in the South and East Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific

Details

Time line

2006 - 2008

Countries in focus

South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Samoa. the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea.

Project goals

This project purports to contribute to the EU’s international relations in terms of its commitment to peace, development, human rights and democracy and thereby facilitate the dialogue between the EU and other peoples and cultures (Pacific, African and Asian). This project involves a unique major comparative study of attitudes and citizens’ perceptions of the EU as a development actor in these three regions never before undertaken. This multidisciplinary project also targets the study of the EU/Europe international actor image in “third” countries -- a challenging and still under-researched area in the EU identity scholarship.

Although the EU is a leading development actor globally, little data is available on how third citizenry perceive the EU and no comparative studies have explicitly examined the EU’s development image in selected regions. The project traces the broad public perceptions and attitudes towards the EU as a development actor across three African-Asian-Pacific regions. All three regions look to the EU for significant development aid and data generated by the project have the direct influence on regional public policy responses through enhancing a more informed consideration and awareness of different initiatives of the EU. This data will be used as direct mechanisms for Development Ministries and of the European Commission Delegations in respective countries in each region.

The inspiration behind the research project -The Perceptions of the European Union as a Development Actor: a comparative analysis of media representations, public opinion and practitioner views in the Pacific, South East Asia and Southern African regions – stems from the findings of a previously funded Jean Monnet Action project on media and public perceptions of the EU in general in the Asia-Pacific region. A striking finding in this previous innovative research was the general low level of media coverage and public awareness of the EU as a significant development actor (in terms of aid, trade, debt relief and poverty reduction) committed to meeting all of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Consequently, this project seeks to focus more precisely on this topic - that of the images of the EU as a “development actor” in the international public discourses - while applying the existing proven methodology in order to facilitate comparative analysis. The chosen regions reflect the EU’s diverse development mechanisms and groupings, combining the African and Pacific elements under the Cotonou process with the EU’s separate South East Asian strategy.

Media analysis

Date

Country

Outlets

Number of articles

July 2006–July 2007 South Africa Business Day, The Star, Sunday Times, SABC News TBC
July 2006–July 2007  Kenya Daily Nation, The East African, Taifa Leo (Swahili), The Standard Kenya, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, NTV, KTN Network TBC
July 2006–July 2007  Thailand Thai Rath, The Manager, Bangkok Post, ITV 875
Jan–June 2007. Vietnam Youth, VNET, Vietnam News, VTV1 228
July 2006–Dec 2007 Fiji Fiji Times 332
July 2006–Dec 2007 Samoa Samoa Observer 18
July 2006–Dec 2007  Solomon Islands Solomon Star 269
July 2006–Dec 2007  Cook Islands Cook Island News 47
July 2006–Dec 2007  Papua New Guinea Post Courier 104

Public opinion analysis

Timeframe

Country

No of Respondents

Method

Nov-06 Thailand 400 Telephone
2007 Fiji 448 Telephone
Nov- Dec 2008 Vietnam 400 Telephone
2007 South Africa TBC Telephone

Elite opinion analysis

Date

Country

Method

No of Respondents

April-July 2007 South Africa semi-structured, face-to-face TBC
Jan 2007- April 2008 Pacific semi-structured, face-to-face 46
March-June 2008 Vietnam semi-structured, face-to-face 33
Aug–Dec 2007 Thailand semi-structured, face-to-face 18
Dec 2007-April 2008 Kenya semi-structured, face-to-face TBC

Project supervisors

Professor Martin Holland
National Centre for Research on Europe 

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban
National Centre for Research on Europe

Project Senior Scholars

Prof. Gerrit Olivier
Director 
Centre for European Studies in Africa
University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Professor Apirat Petchsiri 
The Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok, Thailand

Ass. Prof Alma Maria O. Salvador
Chair
Department of Political Science
Ateneo de Manila University
The Philippines

Prof Cornelis Pieter Frederik Luhulima
Senior Researcher
European Studies Programme
Universitas Indonesia

Dr Pahm Quang Minh
Dean
Department of International Relations
Vietnam National University 
Hanoi, Vietnam

Project Research Team

‘African’ Team:

Dr Patrick Kimunguyi
Lecturer
Monash University 
Melbourne, Australia

Dr Lorenzo Fioramonti
Researcher
University of Bologna 
Bologna, Italy

‘Pacific’ Team

Dr Jessica Bain 
Post-Doctoral Fellow/ Lecturer
National Centre for Research on Europe
University of Canterbury 
Christchurch, New Zealand

Serena Kelly 
Doctoral Candidate
National Centre for Research on Europe
University of Canterbury 
Christchurch, New Zealand

Dr Malakai Koloamatangi
Researcher /Lecturer
National Centre for Research on Europe
University of Canterbury 
Christchurch, New Zealand

Andrea Reichstein 
MA student 
National Centre for Research on Europe
University of Canterbury 
Christchurch, New Zealand

Katharina Scheffler 
MA student 
National Centre for Research on Europe
University of Canterbury 
Christchurch, New Zealand

‘South-East Asian’ Team

Trip Kirtiputra
The Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies 
Chulalongkorn University 
Bangkok, Thailand

Rachanirom Raveepaopong
The Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies 
Chulalongkorn University 
Bangkok, Thailand

Suneenart Lophatthananon 
The Multidisciplinary Department of European Studies 
Chulalongkorn University 
Bangkok, Thailand

Leslie Advincula Lopez
Doctoral Candidate/Researcher
European Studies Programme
Ateneo de Manila University
The Philippines

Manuel Enverga
Doctoral Candidate/Researcher
European Studies Programme
Ateneo de Manila University
The Philippines

Edward Panjaitan
Lecturer
European Studies Programme
Universitas Indonesia

Anika Widiana
Researcher
European Studies Programme
Universitas Indonesia

Dr Dao Minh Hong
Dean
Department of International Relations
Vietnam National University 
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

Hiếu Trần Bách
Researcher
Department of International Relations
Vietnam National University 
Hanoi, Vietnam

Bui Hai Dang
Vice Dean
Department of International Relations Vietnam National University 
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

Project Events

Date

Pilot StudyThe Visibility of the European Union as a Development Actor in the Pacific Media (2006-7).  August-December 2006
Orientation research meeting #1: "Project Research Methodology", Singapore March 2007
Content analysis of national news print and broadcast media March 2007 – on going
Research meeting #2:
Research group work with interim media and elite findings,
Singapore
November 2007
Public opinion survey 1st half of 2008
Work on publications (work paper, special issue of a journal) January-December 2008
Research meeting #3:
Research group work with final media and elite data
NCRE, Christchurch, New Zealand
September 2008
Presentation of the project’s final findings at the NZ EUCN conference September 2008