Britain in Europe : a discourse-theoretical approach
Previous research upon European integration has observed that Britain has an I awkward partnership' with the rest of the EU. However, these analyses have not addressed how this awkward relationship reflects a difference in political and governmental discourse between Britain and the other Continental European member states. This thesis will examine this divergence. To this end, it applies the discourse-theoretical approach developed by Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj Zi2ek. By applying the discourse-theoretical concept of social antagonism, it will seek to explain why these discourses are different and opposed. Possible solutions to this conflict will then be identified and explored. Inspired by Laclau and Mouffe's vision of a 'radical plural democracy', this research concludes by advancing a project for a universal European identity that embraces the liberal democratic principles of 'freedom and equality for all' and transcends the national antagonisms that have plagued Europe's past.