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European Identity: Future hope or quaint anachronism?

McGarry, Laura (1999) European Identity: Future hope or quaint anachronism? Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Most authors agree that the EU is culturally stunted. This dissertation considers whether the nation state is a suitable model for building a European Identity.
The likelihood of a shared sense of identity emerging under the present conditions of integration in Europe is examined. In endeavouring to investigate the nation state as a relevant locus of identity, the factors affecting the creation of the nation state must be analysed. Such factors include a common mass-media and education infrastructure, shared memories, a single currency, labour mobility, and a common language. I describe how each factor, especially media and education, depends upon the relationship between retaining diversity and the pressure for commonality. This is most apparent in the debate as to the value and necessity of a common language. Greater integration can only be achieved by making sense of the cultural diversity of the Member States and what they simultaneously share. Is it possible to create a EI considering this cultural and linguistic diversity?
An inherent trait of the human being is the desire to belong to a tribe or community. Part of this is the belief that their tribe is better than any other similar tribe. Football fans show this taken to a violent extreme with hooliganism. With Nationalism this is seen on a greater cale. The divisions in Europe have been around so long country pride is deep within the mind set of the people and is not going to change overnight.
The design of the present study is recapitulated in Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty which explains the need to take into account the researcher's subjective point of view.
In general it was found that EI cannot be conceived as a continuation of the state and nation building exercises. This can be attributed to the nation state becoming increasingly irrelevant and being too narrowly focussed. It goes without saying that the world in which we now live is a very different one from the post -medieval era to which nations date back. We must look to the future, rather than the past, and move outside and beyond the nation-state.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state. > Nationalism. Nation state.
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > European Union
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in European Business and Languages
Depositing User: SINEAD CORCORAN
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2010 14:17
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2012 12:54
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/290

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