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Imagining Europe as a Global Player

The Ideological Construction of a New European Identity within the EU


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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CONCLUSION - The Ideology of a Global Player 237


237 CONCLUSION The Ideology of a Global Player Europe is not what it once was. This is not only the central plotline of the mythical narratives residing at the heart of the ideological con- struction of European identity, but also the core claim that I have arrived at through this analysis. I have endeavoured to show what I believe is a significant ideological development in the construction of European Identity; that Unity in Diversity Europe is in these years being extended and re-invigorated by a new ideological project and utopia – that of becoming a Global Player. Unity in Diversity Europe has at its basis the idea that European in- tegration more than anything else is a grand internal peace-project for the “old continent”. EUrope is not simply an advantageous economic organisation of the continent, nor is it a mere neo-functionalist exercise of building institutions along the path of least resistance. The Founding Fathers, it is claimed, always had more in mind. But this “more” is not a notion of a common homogenous European culture. Europe is not a nation-state, and can ill afford to try to become one. In fact the condi- tions of possibility for articulating a community of Europe are tied to the careful avoidance of any contradiction arising between national and European identity. Notions of homogenous culture at the European level are not an option, since this would fundamentally challenge the idea of original and individually particular cultures at the level of the European nations. Unity in...

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