The construction of Portuguese national identity in the context of European integration
This dissertation discusses impacts of European integration on the Portuguese national identity. It is divided in two main parts: a theoretical framework and empirical research. The first part defines identities and their relevance for international relations. From a constructivist standpoint, it asserts that identities are unstable material-ideational objects that result from permanent social interaction, which involves agents and shapes structures; that they are constitutive variables of social, political and therefore international reality, too. National identities are presented as particular types of political-cultural identities, as they are strongly anchored on the nation-state project. Thus, it discusses the nation-state and nationalism problematic, but rejects essentalising views. The impacts of Europeanisation on national identity are presented in the framework of theories of integration, as domestic outcomes, at the level of collective identities. The concept of Europeanisation is used to designate the fluxes established between the institutions of the European Union and the national institutions and citizens. The concept of network is further introduced for the analysis of those fluxes and of their domestic mediation. The second part, explores aspects of the Portuguese case. First, there is a presentation of ongoing structures of the Portuguese national identity, with particular attention to the genetic link between the state and the nation, as a major marker of national identity. Then, two specific cases of the construction of national identity within the elite level are studied. One chapter addresses the key positions on national identity, as constructed in the parliamentarian discourse. The following chapter traces networks of Europeanisation and analyses utterances on European integration vis-a-vis the Portuguese state and society and on national identity, as produced by some state, society and EU agents involved in those networks. Finally, the main conclusions are presented: in general, they show that there has been a dynamic of adaptation of identity substantially guided by the Portuguese state itself, in order to shape the Portuguese national identity into a discourse of compatibility with Europe.