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One equal eternity : from ethnic to civic identity : the European experience

Grover, AB 2001 , 'One equal eternity : from ethnic to civic identity : the European experience', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This study examines the nature and evolution of European supranationalism and its
relationship to European identity formation, together with the factors promoting and
inhibiting the development of such an identity. The central proposition of the study is that
there exist certain conditions for the emergence of an European identity. This identity is
developing, in accordance with a 'civic' model based on a common sense of European
belonging rooted in constitutionalism, participative citizenship, civil and humanitarian
rights and shared democratic institutions.
The question of how political communities, increasingly ethnically heterogeneous,
socially fragmented and territorially dispersed, yet institutionally and functionally linked,
can aid a common consciousness and a sense of identity is addressed. This work
predicates that there is a relationship between supranational institutional development and
the development of European identity. It explores how supranational institutions
developed within post-war Europe and demonstrates how such institutions affect
communal European identity formation.
The study establishes that in common with the historical experience of European state
formation in early modernity, that enlarged polities are closely and causally linked to the
rise of broad identification amongst their named populations. We demonstrate that as
European supranational institutions have become politically and socially entrenched that
the appropriate conditions for the creation of European identity have emerged. Such an
identity, necessarily civic in nature, is inclusive of, and sympathetic to, the diverse range
of pre-existing European ethnonational identifications.
The study utilises an analytical framework which allows for the examination of European
identification from a variety of perspectives. Utilising a typology of communal identity
synthesised from sociology, social psychology and political science the study
demonstrates that communal identity is a multdimentional phenomena. It is made up not
only of shared feeling of community and belonging, but is further exhibited in collective
self-description, shared values, collective attachment to common symbols, common
actions and a common cognitive boundary separating `us' from the 'other'.
The study demonstrates that there is a viable European identity. It finds that such an
identity exists concurrently with pre-existing national, regional and local identities.
European identity is found to exist, in part, as a result of the institutional recognition and
securing of such pre-existent identities. The study concludes that it is from the
construction of a dense and socially inclusive European civil society that European
identity emerges.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Grover, AB
Keywords: Supranationalism, Europeans
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2001 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2001.

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