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Why is Norway Outside the European Union?

Norwegian National Identity and the Question of European Integration

Series:

Gamze Tanil

This book introduces identity politics into the analysis of international relations. Through the usage of identification approaches, combined with an extensive presentation of the specific features of Norwegian nation-building, it offers a lucid account of how Norway’s history and culture shape the prism through which many Norwegians view the merits of their country’s relations with the emerging European Union.

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Chapter 3: The Construction of the Norwegian National Identity

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‘Nordic identity is about being better than Europe.’ Ole Waever (1992:77) ‘If this is your land, where are your stories?’ Aboriginal proverb (Chamberlin 2004:13) 1. Introduction It is argued in this research that national identity describes (1) the condition in which a mass of people have made the same identification with national symbols –have internalized the symbols of the nation-, and (2) the possible mass mobiliza- tion of this people to act as one psychological group when there is a threat to, or the possibility of enhancement of, these symbols of national identity. Chapter 3 analyzes the first part of this theoretical assumption, and Chapter 4 analyzes the second part. Regarding the ‘construction’ of the national identity, it is argued that this cons- truction is carried out by the intelligentsia by using 5 elements: (1) History (narrative of nation as a set of stories, images, landscapes, scenarios, historical events, national symbols and rituals which stand for, or represent, the shared experiences, sorrows, triumphs and disasters which give meaning to the nation): The struggle for independence from compulsory unions with Denmark and later Sweden for 400 years; and later the World War II, German occupation and resistance will be dealt with in this context. (2) The foundational myth (a story which locates the origin of the nation, the people and their national character): The Vikings, their virtues and triumphs will be dealt with in this context. (3) The territorial bond or ‘homeland’: This aspect is not about where...

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