It is worth noting that for Fligstein Europeanization is defined in strictly economic terms, in which new forms of transnational integration are advanced in order to produce economically beneficial outcomes. His findings, however, suggest that although industries and firms have reconfigured to become more European, many retain their national orientation and character.
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As European economic, social and political fields have developed so too have the routine interactions of individuals from different societies. It is these new spaces of social interaction that open the possibility for the emergence of a European identity. It is to this question that the book turns to in the second half. Having clearly stated at the outset his position that the European Union is indeed a social class project, Neil Fligstein seeks to link the absence of a pan European identity to the class structure of European society, marked as it is by income, class, and educational disparities.
To do so he engages a notoriously unreliable survey method largely discredited by scholars of the European Union known as Eurobarometer; a biannual survey conducted to gauge public opinion on matters relating to the European Union. For this reader, the failure to engage any other census data outside of Eurobarometer is one of the greatest weaknesses of this book.
A Review on Cross Cultural Education throughout Europe: Identity Issues
The datasets do, however, support the main argument that it is overwhelmingly the beneficiaries of the European project upper middle income, educated, professionals and young people , who identify with a European identity. Conversely, those who have not been direct recipients of the advantages of European integration lower middle income, less educated, blue collar individuals are the least likely to identify themselves as European, and therefore the most likely to default to the protection and security of the nation state. Somewhere in the middle lie a majority of individuals who fall under the category of circumstantial Europeans.
This group tends towards national identity in the first, favouring a European identity on particular issues or in rare circumstances. It is possible to conclude from this that the future of the European project depends to a large extent on the degree to which the circumstantial Europeans can be persuaded to embrace the notion of a common European community.
Yet the implication that these new social fields are distinctly European is problematic. On the question of language, Fligstein suggests the proliferation of English across Europe is but another example of this process of Europeanization. Given that English is the language of global capitalism, of global academe, and of the United States, it is not clear why English suggests a deepening European identity, rather than a more global one. Notably there is a convergence of education systems within Europe, evidenced by the Bologna process, but he fails to mention that they are in fact converging on the American model.
In concluding the chapter, he suggests that business, education, and the media are all converging on a European model, but nothing about these trends suggests anything distinctively European. Instead what is novel about these observations is that they reveal the great irony of Europeanization; that Europe, in its efforts to become more European, has in the process become more global. A welcome addition to literature on the European Union, Fligstein offers up a fresh perspective to a field so often bogged down by politically saturated state centric analyses that blur the individual from sight.
Whether or not it will be read as such is of another matter altogether. That being so, it is highly recommended to those studying the European Union, whether as economists, political scientists, historians or interdisciplinary studies, this book is sure to spark controversy, or at the very least a debate. For at the heart of the story is an uncomfortable question as to what and for whom the European project is for.
ISSN: Group identity European Union countries. National characteristics, European. European Union countries Economic integration.
Euroclash: The EU, European Identity, and the Future of Europe - ProQuest
Group identity Europe. National characteristics European. Bibliography Illustrated. Holdings information at the University of Dundee Requesting live circulation data Live circulation data is not available. Displaying live circulation data. Location of copy Shelfmark Availability Main Library Originally published: Description based on print version record. Reproduction available: Electronic reproduction. APUC scholarship online package. European Union. Europe Economic integration Social aspects. Summary A major new interpretation of European integration.
Leading scholar, Neil Fligstein, provocatively argues that European integration has produced a truly transnational European society.
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