Political Psychology of European Integration

  • Ian Manners
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Psychology Series book series (PSPP)


Writing over two decades ago, Stuart Hall (1991) first told the story of European identity as contradictory processes of marking symbolic boundaries and constructing symbolic frontiers between inside and outside, interior and exterior, belonging and otherness, which are central to any account of the political psychology of European integration. The study of European integration has come a long way in the intervening decades, but no systematic attempt has been made to weave the stories of European identity together with those of European integration using political psychology. Given that marking inside and outside, interior and exterior, belonging and otherness are both political and psychological processes, and this absence of engagement seems problematic.

Europe’s external relations with its others has been central to the European story since its inception, and remains so. The story of European identity is often told as if it had no exterior. But this tells us more about how cultural identities are constructed — as ‘imagined communities’, through the marking of difference with others — than it does about the actual relations of unequal exchange and uneven development through which a common European identity was forged. Now that a new Europe is taking shape, the same contradictory process of marking symbolic boundaries and constructing symbolic frontiers between inside and outside, interior and exterior, belonging and otherness, is providing a silent accompaniment to the march to 1992.

(Hall, 1991: 18)


European Union European Integration Social Identity Theory Political Psychology Symbolic Boundary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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