What is Identity?

  • Michael Bruter


Along the past fifty years, a new, unique, political project - European unification - has emerged to unite peoples and nations, which had historically appeared to embody the archetypal symbols of war and enmity. How citizens have been led to accept peace and co-operation with their traditional enemies is a question, which has struck many observers as being extremely challenging and paradoxical. Have European citizens accepted European unification only because they have accepted the idea that it was favourable to their economic development and without developing a new political identity or, because they have progressively acquired such a new European identity? Surely, if European citizens have gone on not identifying politically with the European integration and equated the European project with a pure economic concept, there must be an overwhelming majority of citizens opposed to any further unification. Indeed, now, unification is predominantly political, and opens itself to poorer countries at a cost for the wealthier ones. Moreover, many of the specific policies of the European Union have been depicted in highly negative terms by the mass media and large numbers of politicians. However, at the same time, support for European integration has not decreased dramatically, and the political and social aspects of integration generally find greater support than the economic ones.


Social Identity Social Contract Political Community Political Identity Party Identification 
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Copyright information

© Michael Bruter 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Bruter
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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