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Models of european identity: reconciling universalism and particularism

By Gerard Delanty


The paper offers an analysis of the four main conceptions of European identity, which can be termed: moral universalism, postnational universalism, cultural particularism and pragmatism. The first three of these models can be analysed in terms of an emphasis either on universalism or on particularism. In this paper it is argued that these three models suffer from an excessive concern with either 'thin' univeralistic conceptions of identity or with 'thick' particularistic identities and that the fourth possibility does not offer a satisfactory alternative. What is neglected in all four models is the potential for pluralisation that is expressed in an alternative model of European identity. The paper offers a defence of this in terms of a pluralised cosmopolitan European identity

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2002
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