A Political Community?

Angelika Scheuer

in Political Representation and Legitimacy in the European Union

Published in print June 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296614
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600227 | DOI:
 A Political Community?

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This chapter is the first of four on the question of legitimacy in the EU, and deals with the core question of whether and to what extent the citizens of the EU have grown together into a political community. The first section discusses the common European heritage, and sources of conflicts and diversity, and then introduces the concept of sense of political community, in which two dimensions are distinguished: identification (which refers to the citizens themselves) and ‘we‐feeling’ (which refers to fellow citizens). These two dimensions are compatible with modern theories of intergroup relations, and are discussed further in the next two sections of the chapter. The first of these monitors the evolution of European identifications from 1982 to 1995, and compares the pride of EU citizens and political elites in being European. The second investigates whether EU citizens trust their fellow Europeans, and where the geographical borderline is drawn between ingroup and outgroup.

Keywords: EU; identification; ingroups; intergroup relations; legitimacy; outgroups; political community; pride; sense of community; sense of political community; trust; we‐feeling

Chapter.  6528 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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