Explaining European Identity

Paolo Bellucci, David Sanders and Fabio Serricchio

in The Europeanization of National Polities?

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602346
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739163 | DOI:

Series: IntUne

Explaining European Identity

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This chapter analyses individual and national differences in the intensity of European identity, and provides an assessment of the many factors that sustain or hinder the development of a European identification among citizens of EU member states. A model of the intensity of EU identity – comprising feelings of EU belonging and their salience – is elaborated, taking account of the various perspectives outlined above (cognitive mobilization, instrumental rationality, political mobilization, national identity), and their distinct explanatory power across the European public is examined. Socio-structural individual level characteristics as well as system-level features are found to exert modest effects on identity. Cognitive mobilization and instrumental ‘rational’ considerations are far more important in framing the image of Europe and identification with it.

Keywords: European identity; national identity; belonging; salience; cognitive mobilization; instrumental rationality

Chapter.  11385 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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