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Imagining Europe as a Global Player

The Ideological Construction of a New European Identity within the EU

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Christoffer Kolvraa

This book argues that since 2001 the primary discursive context for articulating a European identity within the EU has increasingly become the idea of a common foreign policy for Europe. A new grand project of making Europe a true global player is being put forth and it is this as yet unrealised ideal that European citizens are now being asked to identify with.
The author examines European identity as an ideological construction that seeks to elicit emotional and affective attachment to the political project of realising a utopian ideal. He unravels the discourses involved in the construction of European identity by drawing on theories and methods from discourse analysis, the study of political myths, narratology and psychoanalysis. The European Neighbourhood Policy is studied in detail, with a focus on the dynamic challenges that ensue when grand ideological statements have to be implemented in a concrete and specific context.

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Preface .......................................................................................................... 9 Introduction ............................................................................................... 11 PART I IDENTITY AND IDEOLOGY: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK CHAPTER 1 Discourse, Desire and Ideology ................................................................. 17 The Concept of Discourse ...................................................................... 18 Subject-Positions in Discourse .............................................................. 22 The Lacanian Subject and the Ideological Fantasy of Community ........ 24 “Man’s Desire is Always the Desire of the Other” ................................ 30 Dislocation as Disaster or Disenchantment ............................................ 34 The Nodal Point as Cosa Nostra ............................................................ 36 Social Logics and Antagonism; the Cheat and the Players .................... 42 Mythical Narratives; Enjoying the Mundane ......................................... 46 Performing Identity: Citational Practices and Re-Iteration .................... 52 Speculative Speeches as a Genre of Political Rhetoric .......................... 55 PART II UNITY IN DIVERSITY EUROPE CHAPTER 2 European Values. The Semantics of a Nodal Point ................................ 63 CHAPTER 3 United in Diversity. Self and “Other-Self” in Europe ............................ 77 The Nation-State Supreme ..................................................................... 78 Upgrading Politics in the Face of Globalisation .................................... 83 Saving Us from Ourselves and Civilising Difference ............................ 89 CHAPTER 4 Overcoming Suffering. The Myth of Civilised Europe ......................... 103 Suffering Endured, Remembered and Overcome ................................ 104 The Passions of Narration .................................................................... 111 8 PART III GLOBAL PLAYER EUROPE CHAPTER 5 Waiting (in Vain) for the Barbarians ..................................................... 121 Those Old Roads .................................................................................. 123 The Family Goes Global ...................................................................... 128 CHAPTER 6 The Semantics of Europe’s Role in the World ...................................... 135 A Style of Power for Europe’s Role .................................................... 140 Enemies and Expectations ................................................................... 143 CHAPTER 7 The Social Logics of a Civilising Power ................................................. 153 European Power; Soft, Civilian or Civilised ........................................ 153 A Mission Civilisatrice on Request ..................................................... 163 Balance of Power or Division of Labour ............................................. 170 CHAPTER 8 Enjoying the World. Europe’s Mythical Foreign Policy ...................... 175...

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