Studies of perceptions of the EU in post-Maidan Ukraine and post-Brexit Europe inevitably turn to the theme of a ‘changing Europe in a changing world’. Our Special Issue makes a timely contribution to the question of how perception studies – as an approach to studying the EU – can help us understand narratives of change and continuity in and of Europe, some of which are paradoxical and some unexpected. Through this approach, we engage with strategic narrative theory (Miskimmon et al. 2013), which provides one explanation for how perceptions are shaped through and by information flows. Further, strategic narratives focus on how perceptions circulate between local, national and EU spaces in Europe, in relation to the past, present and future, and with which potential to mobilise audiences. We also consider synergies with other well-established theoretical models from political science scholarship, International Relations (IR) and European integration studies, and political communication studies.

Pauline Heinrichs, Natalia Chaban, Jan Osička, and Veronika Zapletalová (2021) Editors’ introduction to the Special Issue, Changing realities, changing narratives? A narrative reading of EU perceptions in a changing Europe, Australian and Newzealand Journal of European Studies, 13(3), 3-12, https://www.esaanz.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Editors-introduction-to-the-Special-Issue-Changing-realities-changing-narratives.-A-narrative-reading-of-EU-perception-in-a-changing-Europe.pdf