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The political discourse of the European Parliament, enlargement, and the construction of a European identity, 1962 - 2004

De Angelis, Emma (2011) The political discourse of the European Parliament, enlargement, and the construction of a European identity, 1962 - 2004. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis explores the European Parliament's construction of European identity in enlargement discourse between 1962 and 2004. It focuses on the idea of "Europe" a constructed by the European Parliament over the past 50 years, analysing both the way which MEPs discuss the idea of Europe and European identity and also looking through the lens at the development of what has so far been a largely neglected institution in the historiography of European integration. The European Parliament is a common subject of political science studies, which often focus on the dynamics of party politics and elections. European identity is also a ubiquitous subject of many political science, sociological, and historical works. Historians of European integration, however, have dedicated little attention to either. This work thus places itself at the intersection of the literature on the idea of European identity, the European Parliament, and European enlargement. The thesis makes a contribution to the understanding of the historical development of a European identity discourse with the enlargement context, showing how one amongst the Community institutions attempted to legitimise the expansion and continuation of the process of European integration through the discursive construction of a European idea. It traces the main themes that emerge over the years out of this construction, from political identity to historical narratives and cultural elements, analysing how MEPs develop these different bases if identity in different enlargement contexts. It then looks at Turkey as a special case study of an enlargement that is still underway and explores the identity themes that emerge from the discourse surrounding this open-ended process. Ultimately, the thesis also shows that the European Parliament, thus far overlooked in the historiography of European integration, is in fact worthy of closer scrutiny as an institution in its own right.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Emma De Angelis
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Ludlow, N. Piers

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