Europeanization of Nation-State Identities? A Franco-German Comparison of Identity Discourses

Research question/goal: 

The project aims at identifying a possible "Europeanization" of national identity discourses. It is a well established assumption in political science literature on the democratic future of the EU that legitimate governance "of the people" is difficult to attain because of an underdeveloped notion of European identity. The project starts from two opposing assumptions, namely (1) that not a "European identity" but "Europeanised national identities" are a sufficient prerequisite for legitimate EU governance and (2) that in a longer time perspective such a Europeanization of national identity is emerging. Research will focus on the empirical evaluation of the national identity discourse and the ways and degrees of their modification in terms of broadening the scope of reference to include “the other”. The expectation is the manifestation of a "Europeanized identity discourse" in "national" colours, integrating to a certain degree a European dimension. Thus, we would be confronted with "French" and "German" European identities, rather than with one European Identity. France and Germany have been chosen as case studies (a) because both countries have been integrated into the European Communities from the very beginning an (b) because they still represent two fairly different national constructions of identity.

Fact sheet

MZES (doctoral program)
2002 to 2005
Data Sources: 
Discourse analysis of print media (leading newspapers in Fra
Geographic Space: 
France and Germany



Seidendorf, Stefan (2007): Europäisierung nationaler Identitätsdiskurse? Ein Vergleich französischer und deutscher Printmedien. Baden-Baden: Nomos. [Regieren in Europa; 13] more
Quittkat, Christine (2006): Europäisierung der Interessenvermittlung: Französische Wirtschaftsverbände zwischen Beständigkeit und Wandel. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. [Forschungen zur Europäischen Integration; 17] more
Schöning, Matthias, and Stefan Seidendorf (Eds.) (2006): Reichweiten der Verständigung. Intellektuellendiskurse zwischen Nation und Europa. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter. more