103 European Integration As a Cause For Consensus Or Conflict In Domestic Politics, 1950-2010

Wednesday, June 26, 2013: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
5.60 (PC Hoofthuis)
Right from the start the integration of Europe had unintended side-effects on the national political cultures of the participating member states. In the 1950s for instance expectations of “Europe” reinforced and accelerated a process of ideological restraint in Dutch politics that had already been partially set in motion. Some Dutch Labour politicians and supporters believed that the domestic political compromises between Dutch Catholic and Labour politics served as an example for a future truly democratic “Europe”. In the Federal Republic of Germany on the contrary the expected “Europeanization” of West Germany was one of the main causes for a strong polarization between the Christian Democrats and the Socialist Party until the late 1950s.

This panel deals with the impact of national self-images on national debates about European integration as well as on the transformation of national political cultures (as displayed in the national parliaments, between political parties, in the media and the public sphere) as a result of European integration. How did national self-images impact on corresponding imaginings of a future “Europe”? And to what extent and in which ways can the process of European integration be regarded as a cause for political convergence or conflict in the member states? The panel presents analyses of corresponding processes in various West and Middle European countries. Moreover the panel will discuss the differences between the effects of Europeanization within the founding member states of the European Community and the countries that joined the EU at a later stage.

Michael Wintle
James Kennedy
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