Experiencing European Integration: Transnational Lives and European Identity

ISBN : 9780199688913

Theresa Kuhn
208 Pages
162 x 240 mm
Pub date
Jan 2015
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European integration has generated a wide array of economic, political, and social opportunities beyond the nation state. European citizens are free to obtain their academic degree in Germany, earn their money in London, invest it in Luxembourg, and retire to Spain. An early theorist of European integration, Karl Deutsch expected this development to promote a collective identity and public support for European integration: by interacting across borders, Europeans would become aware of their shared values and beliefs, and eventually acquire a common 'we feeling'. Experiencing European Integration puts these expectations under scrutiny by developing a comprehensive theoretical model that helps us understand how transnational interactions relate to orientations towards European integration. An extensive analysis of survey data covering the 27 EU member states provides a thorough empirical test of transactionalist hypotheses. Findings show that individual transnationalism indeed strongly and positively influences EU support, but that only a young, wealthy, and highly educated minority take part in cross-border interactions. The book further shows that the effectiveness of transnational interactions in generating EU support is contingent on a number of factors such as their purpose and scope. Importantly, increased transnational interactions result in negative externalities among those who do not become transnationally active themselves. By discussing the implications of transnationalism for the theoretical debate and current policy, this volume will provide a unique analysis of a key dynamic of European integration.


1. Introduction
2. Transnationalism
3. Linking Transnationalism to Citizen Orientations towards European Integration
4. Being and Feeling European: The Effect of Individual Transnationalism on EU Support and European Identity
5. The Social Stratification of Individual Transnationalism in Europe
6. Transactionalist Theory Under Further Empirical Scrutiny: Purpose and Scope of Interactions
7. The Janus Face of Increated Transactions
8. Conclusion: Transnational Europhiles, Local Eurosceptics

About the author: 

Theresa Kuhn is assistant professor in political science at the University of Amsterdam. Previously, Theresa Kuhn held a postdoctoral research fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, and worked as lecturer at Free University Berlin. She obtained her PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, and has held visiting positions at UC Berkeley and WZB Social Science Center Berlin.

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