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Title: British discourses on Europe : self/other and national identities
Author: Gibbins, Justin Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 479X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Britain’s stormy relationship with the European Union is a frequently cited illustration of a Eurosceptic state par excellence. Possessive of a strong national identity, a unique island status, a plethora of wartime experiences and a tenacious hold over its sovereignty, Britain has long been invested with an ‘awkward partner’ status. This dissertation seeks to unravel such presuppositions to answer the central research question: how has British national identity been forged and constructed by competing political elite visions of Europe? I deploy a discourse analytic approach and the Self/Other nexus to examine elite configurations of Europe over three critical events in European integration history. The empirical findings suggest three things. Firstly,discursive constructions of Europe play a fundamental role in determining perceptions of national identity. Secondly, the emerging trend in poststructuralist discourse analysis that views the Other not as a single, radical, hostile adversary, but as a whole array of much subtler and less easily defined Others is pertinent to identity construction. Finally, although national identities are perceived as contingent on previous conceptualisations and shifts in identity are subsequently slow and incremental, the case of Britain actually reveals a range of discontinuities in its nationhood over the historical events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JC Political theory ; JZ International relations