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The impact of European integration on minority nationalist mobilisation in France.

Cheney, Emelyne (2009) The impact of European integration on minority nationalist mobilisation in France. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The EU provides a new context for minority nationalist parties, not only to conceive their long-term political project, but also to organise their mobilisation. New institutional and representational opportunities have emerged from multi-level European politics, through the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the EU Regional Policy, etc. This thesis looks at the impact of European integration on minority nationalist mobilisation in France. The French position on internal diversity-still largely influenced by Jacobinism - is emblematic of the tensions existing between minority nationalism and the concept of nation-state. This makes it a valuable "hard" case to assess the significance of the EU for minority nationalist contestation in member states. Evidence gathered from three parties in Brittany (UDB), Corsica (UPC) and the Northern Basque Country (AB) shows that minority nationalists have found it hard to participate in European politics and to access the European political space. As a result of a lack of institutional recognition and parliamentary representation, minority nationalists in France are constrained to operate exclusively at the local level. Consequently, and unlike many minority nationalists in Europe, none of these parties have conceived the EU as an alternative to their relations with the French state and/or fully reformulated their demands in accordance with the European level. European integration has nevertheless entered the strategic considerations of minority nationalists in France, albeit to different degrees. Unlike what could be expected from their trans-border identity. Northern Basque nationalists have perceived the least opportunity in Europe for their mobilisation. It is argued that this is because AB does not mobilise in an institutionalised region. The regional status of Brittany and Corsica has involved both regions in the European policy-making process and this is why European resources have proved valuable to the UDB and the UPC. In the end, though, the comparison of the Breton and Corsican cases shows that the value of Europe as a strategy is contingent on the level of exclusivity that minority nationalists can claim on the European issue within their local political spheres.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2360

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