This book makes a major contribution to understanding European politics and identity. It examines how politicians, cultural elites, and other actors fight over Europe’s future with words and stories, telling narratives about European integration in different political, social, and cultural contexts. The chapters explore how actors formulate stories to make sense of Europe’s past and contemporary challenges and to legitimise their own positions and preferences. The contributors explore themes ranging from divisive stories about the European Union (EU), mobilised in institutional reform referendums, to the top-down deployment of legitimising narratives by EU institutions, religiously inspired apocalyptic narratives of European unity, and stories about nations and Europe told by museums and academics. Combined, the chapters of this book are essential reading for everyone interested in Europe’s common past and contemporary challenges, and the EU’s highly contested nature in times of apparently increasing disintegration.
Table of Contents
1.Narrating European integration: transnational actors and stories Wolfram Kaiser and Richard McMahon
2.Different narratives, one area without internal frontiers: why EU institutions cannot agree on the refugee crisis Adina Maricut
3.The Promethean role of Europe: changing narratives of the political and scholarly left Nikola Petrović
4.Almost the same stories: narrative patterns in EU treaty referendums Wolf J. Schünemann
5.One narrative or several? Politics, cultural elites, and citizens in constructing a ‘New Narrative for Europe’ Wolfram Kaiser
6.Progress, democracy, efficiency: normative narratives in political science EU studies Richard McMahon
7.European Union or Kingdom of the Antichrist? Protestant apocalyptic narratives and European unity Brent F. Nelsen and James L. Guth
8.Post-communist invocation of Europe: memorial museums’ narratives and the Europeanization of memory Ljiljana Radonić
Wolfram Kaiser is Professor of European Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He has published widely on contemporary European history and politics including Writing the Rules for Europe (with J. Schot) and International Organizations and Environmental Protection (edited with J.H. Meyer).
Richard McMahon is a lecturer in EU politics at University College London. He has written widely on national and European identity, in the context of European integration, including a monograph entitled The Races of Europe: Construction of National Identities in the Social Sciences, 1839–1939.