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European identity beyond the nation-state. Plurality and inclusion for a new democratic space

This work, entirely written in English, is aimed at analysing the concept of political identity first in its general sense and then applied to the European context. The main intention of the thesis is to put in evidence how the relationship between the individual and the political community has changed through the centuries, particularly in the post-modern era where we're witnessing new phenomena as the globalisation of the economy, mass migrations, the development of new technologies, the universalisation of the human rights paradigm and the progressive erosion of the power of nation-states, which have brought to a de-territorialisation of the public sphere.
The European Union is up to now a unique model of supranational integration: it is not a national state nor an international organisation in the traditional sense. From the '80s onwards the EU is trying to overcome the concept of a mere common market getting to an effective political union and the creation of a "community of citizens". The main message of the thesis is the necessity for the EU to forge a genuine post-modern political identity, far from the traditional state-like paradigms of identification based on the uniformity/uniformation of culture, language and shared heritage bringing to an inevitable exclusion of the other.
The European Union as a new democratic space implies the recognition of the dynamic nature of identities, of their constant interaction and the rejection of every attempt to conceive them as fixed and static. Differencies constitute an enrichment of European identity and EU policies must aim at their valorisation.
The new global context, which transcends national borders and creates new spaces for democratic participation, is redefining the concept of political identity and the thesis proposes a cosmopolitan approach in the analysis of this process, referring mostly to Amartya Sen and Ulrich Beck.
In conclusion, a quotation by the German sociologist which best summarises the intention and the core sense of the thesis:
"I would like to live in this kind of cosmopolitan Europe, one in which people have roots and wings”.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
4 1. Identity and Globalisation The theme of identity has been treated by a considerable number of scholars adopting different approaches. It remains an open concept, increasingly shaped by growing interdependencies in the international system and globalisation processes taking place since the end of the Second World War. In the thesis specific reference will be made, among others, to the Indian economist Amartya Sen and to the German sociologist Ulrich Beck. Their contributions to the ongoing debate are very useful to understand the complexity and the dynamism of identity-building and offer a precious set of theoretical instruments with which facing an ever changing reality. The focus within the context of the thesis will be on the social and political dimensions of identity, the sense of belonging to a collectivity and the policies related to identity-building, in particular as far as the European Union is concerned. The subject is very interesting and stimulating, as it lies at the base of modern and contemporary politics: if radicalised, it has been cause of dramatic wars during the 20 th century (e.g. in former Kosovo and Rwanda); if handled rightly, it has been a key for the political leaders to manage critical situations as well as to consolidate their political power (e.g. De Gaulle’s “Politics of Grandeur” during the 5 th French Republic). However, the way of thinking about identity has been gradually changing in these last decades as a consequence of the increasing erosion of the power of nation-states and the emergence of new international and transnational actors on the world scene, such as the United Nations, The European Union, but also multinational enterprises and NGOs. Phenomena like the globalisation of the economy, mass migrations from the Third World Countries to Europe and North America or the international communication technologies (e.g. Internet) have made it more difficult for the individual to clearly define his own identity and lifestyle while facing a growing set of new options and possibilities. The scientific progress and the technological evolution have made communications and transport much faster than in the past, reducing the relevance of national frontiers

Laurea liv.I

Facoltà: Scienze Politiche

Autore: Andrea Chiarello Contatta »

Composta da 82 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 38 click dal 18/07/2012.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.