EUropean attachment and meanings of EUrope. A qualitative study in the EU-15
journal contributionposted on 17.10.2013, 15:09 by Marco AntonsichMarco Antonsich
The present article explores meanings of EUrope as they emerged in individual interviews and focus-groups organized around the question of European attachment. The article shows that the ways people make sense of EUrope can be divided into three major categories: cultural-national, cultural-transnational, and functionalutilitarian. Cultural-national referents describe EUrope through the prism of the nation-state and reproduce the isomorphism between territory and identity which has characterized, at least in theory, the nation-state itself. Cultural-transnational referents present EUrope as a normative model for the rest of the world, a model for ‘another’ globalization, more social and less liberalist, and a champion of humanitarianism and international peace. Functional-utilitarian referents address EUrope as a space which could help the individual and/or the collectivity to which the individual belongs to enhance their well-being. In this latter case, EUrope resonates with a post-national space, one which goes beyond the isomorphism between territory and identity. The article argues that the reasons why people might identify with and support EUrope are different, and not always driven by feelings of emotional attachment. As such, the article brings empirical evidence to the thesis that a EUropean demos, understood as a sense of collective identity, should not be considered as a necessary condition for the existence of a EUropean polity.
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment