EU Analogical Identity – Or the Ties that Link (Without Binding)

ANU Centre for European Studies Briefing Paper Series 1 (2) (2010)
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From the political point of view, European Union (EU) integration implies some kind of unity in the community constituted by EU citizens. Unity is difficult to attain if the diversity of citizens (and their nations) is to be respected. A thick bond that melts members' diversity into a 'European pot' is therefore out of the question. On the other hand, giving up unity altogether makes political integration impossible. Through a meta-theoretical analysis of normative positions, this paper proposes a composed notion of European identity that links without binding. It contains four facets – cultural, political, social, external – with nuances, expressed in three binaries, that cut across all of them – history-project, ethos-achievement, commonness-uncommonness. I will submit that a workable European identity (and the related concepts of unity, polity and citizenship) can be better conceived as analogical – a mid way between blending unity and irreconcilable diversity.

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Pablo Cristóbal Jiménez Lobeira
Australian National University


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