Pathways to European identity formation: A tale of two models
GB : Routledge
119 - 133 p.
This article argues that there are two distinct logics that underlie existing studies on European identification. These are grounded in models of collective identity formation that stress either messages inscribed in discursive processes or practices situated in socio-spatial relations – respectively, the “culturalist” and the “structuralist” models. The first of these models considers identification as a direct outcome of the exposure to content-specific symbols, narratives, and messages; the second, as an emerging property of socio-spatial interactions that are content-free of identity references. The first is logocentric, while the second is democentric and topocentric. This article focuses particularly on the second and less-developed research tradition which explores the effects of cross-national practices. The limits and potential of this model are discussed, setting an agenda for empirical research aiming to better elucidate the causal dynamics of European identity formation and adjudicate between these competing explanations.