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Rethinking Community

Discourse, Identity and Citizenship in the European Union

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Giuditta Caliendo

Despite the undeniably impressive achievements of the EU, forms of resistance to the European integration process remain strong in numerous quarters. Drawing upon a theoretical framework centred on the dimension of discourse as social practice, this book takes the literature on EU discourse a step further by integrating insights from discourse studies with key models derived from the domain of political science. The aim is to explore how recent socio-political transformations have affected the way in which the EU discursively represents itself as a legitimate political entity. The idea behind this cross-disciplinary approach is that discourse theory can contribute to a critical renewal of EU studies by drawing attention to the rhetorical aspects that are constitutive of social structures and identities. The analytical parts of this corpus-assisted study explore the evolution of discursive practices in various EU genres at two disruptive moments in the recent history of European integration: the rejection of the draft EU Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands and the UK referendum on EU membership.