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A politics that is shared bounded and rooted? Rediscovering civic political culture in Western Europe

By Adrian Favell


The often asked question of what Europe might learn from North America - and vice versa - has long propelled comparative scholars across a variety of disciplines to use the other continent as a looking glass for their own social and political concerns. While this is a motive that has sent many a European off to the New World, it is interesting to note that the recent flood of work by North American scholars about citizenship, nationhood, immigration, and minorities in Europe, looks curiously like a de Tocquevillian enterprise in reverse. Specific European political culture and democratic institutions have been turned to as sources of enlightenment for concerns felt much closer to home: current North American preoccupations with ethnic and racial conflict, immigration and the idea of citizenship, or the "individualist" destruction of political community and civic commitment. European studies appear to be providing the substantive theoretical and empirical illustrations for dominant domestic themes that have been treated in a more polemical way in many recent American political best-sellers

Topics: G0001-0922
Publisher: Springer
Year: 1998
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