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  • Author or Editor: Russell Foster x
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In a television interview on the morning of 24 June 2016, the morning of the Brexit referendum result, then-leader of UKIP Nigel Farage stated that ‘I hope this is the first step towards a Europe of sovereign nation states, trading together, neighbours together, friends together – but without flags, and anthems, and useless old unelected Presidents’.

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Since the early 1990s a dominant modernist narrative has assumed that European integration and the progressive march of secularism, multiculturalism and increased material prosperity would lead to the fading-away of tribal, national, racial and other parochial identities; identities ostensibly incompatible with a meta-national ‘European’ identity founded not in ethnosymbolic myth, but in cosmopolitanism. This has informed not only academic theory but has also guided 60 years of EU policy making, with Ernst Haas’ doctrine of neofunctionalist spill-over dominating European assumptions that a pan-European identity would replace national affiliations. Brexit contradicts this in four ways. First, Brexit demonstrates the renewed appeal of ethnic nationalism on multiple levels: nationalist (British), sub-nationalist (English), and meta-nationalist (white nationalism). Second, Brexit demonstrates shifts in traditional nationalism in the form of gulfs in a neo-medieval society. Third, Brexit demonstrates the existence of multiple and incompatible ‘European’ identities. Finally, Brexit demonstrates how a specifically EUropean identity can be just as hostile and exclusionary as ethnic nationalism. This reappearance of social discord, ethnosymbolic identities, and the praxis of ethnic identity exemplified by the British, but seen across the EU, necessitates a fundamental reconsideration of the apparently irreversible trends of an unfalsifiable theory of modernist, neofunctionalist progressivism in the form of European integration. Using the British as a case study, this paper argues that the very processes of European integration have, by accelerating antagonistic national and EU identities, inadvertently constructed the apparatus for EUrope’s potential disintegration.

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Abstract

‘Empire’ is a pejorative word in contemporary political science, a term which no longer describes a system of government and social organisation but which now serves only as an unflattering term, an accusation levelled against undesirable polities and policies. In the collective minds of academia and the community, moreover, ‘empire’ is either a concept with many meanings and applications, or simply a catch-all word for the violence and oppression of previous political systems. This paper returns to the roots of the word itself in an effort to distil if not definite, then at least manageable, concepts: imperium and patrocinium. Identifying how patrocinium has begun to emerge in the twenty-first century, the paper argues that ultimately, this form of empire has much to offer, both conceptually and politically, in the modern world.

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Identities, Spaces, Values

Is the European Union (EU) in a state of crisis? Over recent years, a series of systemic and spontaneous challenges, including Brexit, the rise of Euroscepticism and the Eurozone and refugee crises, have manifested in landmark moments for European integration.

First published as a special issue of the journal Global Discourse, this edited collection investigates whether these crises are isolated phenomena or symptoms of a deeper malaise across the EU. Experts from across disciplines analyse and rethink the forces which pull Europeans together, as well as those which push them apart.

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In his fifth-century BCE chronicle of the Graeco-Persian Wars, Herodotus describes a challenge that European scholars have faced for two and a half millennia (Drace-Francis, 2013: 1). Since Antiquity, discussions of just what ‘Europe’ is, descriptively and normatively, have not been resolved and consensus has been reached that multiple ‘Europes’ exist. Recent events in Europe, though, suggest that while the boundaries of Europe are, and will forever remain, quite unknown, the boundaries of EUrope are becoming identifiable.

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Is the European Union (EU) in a state of crisis? Over recent years, a series of systemic and spontaneous challenges, including Brexit, the rise of Euroscepticism and the Eurozone and refugee crises, have manifested in landmark moments for European integration.

First published as a special issue of the journal Global Discourse, this edited collection investigates whether these crises are isolated phenomena or symptoms of a deeper malaise across the EU. Experts from across disciplines analyse and rethink the forces which pull Europeans together, as well as those which push them apart.

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Is the European Union (EU) in a state of crisis? Over recent years, a series of systemic and spontaneous challenges, including Brexit, the rise of Euroscepticism and the Eurozone and refugee crises, have manifested in landmark moments for European integration.

First published as a special issue of the journal Global Discourse, this edited collection investigates whether these crises are isolated phenomena or symptoms of a deeper malaise across the EU. Experts from across disciplines analyse and rethink the forces which pull Europeans together, as well as those which push them apart.

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Is the European Union (EU) in a state of crisis? Over recent years, a series of systemic and spontaneous challenges, including Brexit, the rise of Euroscepticism and the Eurozone and refugee crises, have manifested in landmark moments for European integration.

First published as a special issue of the journal Global Discourse, this edited collection investigates whether these crises are isolated phenomena or symptoms of a deeper malaise across the EU. Experts from across disciplines analyse and rethink the forces which pull Europeans together, as well as those which push them apart.

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