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The Politics of Identity and Political Order in Europe


  • Brigid Laffan


This article explores the link between identity, legitimacy and political order in Europe. The central argument is that the politics of identity have enormous salience in the new Europe and for the European Union at this juncture of its development, because the Union is moving from issues of instrumental problem-solving to fundamental questions about its nature as a part-formed polity. Problems of identity are raised by the politicization of immigration, the fragmentation of the post-war order, regionalism, the revival of the ultra Right and the process of European integration itself. The article concludes with an assessment of the affective dimension of integration. Copyright 1996 BPL.

Suggested Citation

  • Brigid Laffan, 1996. "The Politics of Identity and Political Order in Europe," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 81-102, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:34:y:1996:i:1:p:81-102

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    Cited by:

    1. Hyman, Richard, 2005. "Trade unions and the politics of the European social model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 753, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Hakhverdian, A. & Elsas, E. van & Brug, W. van der & Kuhn, T., 2013. "GINI DP 92: Euroscepticism and education: A longitudinal study of twelve EU member states, 1973-2010," GINI Discussion Papers 92, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    3. Christoffer Kølvraa, 2016. "European Fantasies: On the EU's Political Myths and the Affective Potential of Utopian Imaginaries for European Identity," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 169-184, January.
    4. Soetkin Verhaegen & Marc Hooghe & Ellen Quintelier, 2014. "European Identity and Support for European Integration: A Matter of Perceived Economic Benefits?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 295-314, May.
    5. Emmanuel Sigalas, 2009. "Does ERASMUS Student Mobility promote a EuropeanIdentity?," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0036, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
    6. Laffan, Brigid, 1997. "The European Union: A Distinctive Model of Internationalisation?," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 1, October.
    7. Marks, Gary & Hooghe, Liesbet, 2003. "National identity and support for European integration," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Democracy and Democratization SP IV 2003-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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