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Learning To Be(come) A Good European: A Critical Analysis of the Official European Union Discourse on European Identity and Higher Education
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Att Lära Sig (för att) Bli en God Europé : En kritisk diskursanalys av den officiella EU diskursen rörande europeisk identitet och högre utbildning (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

During the year 2007 when this thesis was completed the European Union could look back at fifty years of collaboration, which began with the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and which has developed from being mainly economic in character to incorporating a political as well as a social dimension at the European level. In 2007 the European Union also commemorated the twentieth anniversary of Erasmus, its higher education mobility programme. It is this relatively new political dimension which I have been interested in investigating in this thesis. More precisely, it is the political construction of a common European identity which is analysed using a critical discourse analysis approach. The major aim of this thesis has been two-fold. The first aim has been to investigate how the European is constructed in the discourse contained within the official European Union documents. I have been interested in analysing the various structures, in the form of ideas and norms which are used to construct 'the European'. The second aim has been to explore whether the role of higher educated, as constructed in the official European Union discourse, is given a similar identity-making role as education is argued to have in the nation-state according to the theory on national identity. I argue that there are three versions of European identity construction, i.e. cultural, civic, and neo-liberal, with their own relationship to higher education, present in the empirical material analysed, consisting of official European Union documents. Further, this thesis is also a study of the power of modern government. I argue that there is an increase in normative soft power where 'the Good European' is not something 'you' are but something 'you' become by being a responsible active citizen. Through the use of critical discourse analysis I illuminate the power which resides in the language in the discourse analysed. Thus, I have been interested in investigating how the discourse analysed works to both include and exclude individuals.

Abstract [sv]

Under 2007 då denna avhandling färdigställdes kunde den Europeiska Unionen se tillbaka på femtio år av samarbete som började med Romfördraget 1957 och som har utvecklats från att vara framförallt ekonomiskt till att även behandla politiska och sociala frågor på den europeiska nivån. År 2007 firade den Europeiska Unionen även tjugoårsjubileet för Erasmus, sitt program för rörlighet inom högre utbildning. Det är denna relativt nya politiska dimension som jag har varit intresserad av att undersöka i avhandlingen. Närmare bestämt, det är den politiska konstruktionen av en gemensam europeisk identitet som analyseras med hjälp av kritisk diskurs analys. Syftet med avhandlingen har varit tvådelat. Det första syftet har varit att undersöka hur europén skapas i diskursen som finns att finna i officiella EU policy dokument. Jag har varit intresserad av att analysera de olika strukturer, i form av idéer och normer som används för att konstruera 'europén'. Det andra syftet har varit att undersöka om högre utbildning, som den konstrueras i den officiella EU diskursen, har samma identitetsskapande roll som utbildning sägs ha i nationalstaten enligt nationell identitetsteori. Jag påstår att det finns tre versioner av europeisk identitet, i.e. kulturell, politisk och neoliberal, var och en med sin egen relation till högre utbildning, i det empiriska materialet, bestående av officiella EU dokument, som har undersökts. Dessutom, avhandlingen är en studie av den makt som är del av modernt styrande. Jag påstår att det har varit en ökning då det gäller 'mjuk. makt där en 'God Europé' inte är något 'du' är utan något 'du' blir genom att vara en ansvarstagande aktiv medborgare. Genom kritisk diskursanalys belyser jag uttrycken av makt som finns att finnas i den diskurs jag analyserar. Med andra ord, jag har varit intresserad av att undersöka hur den analyserade diskursen både inkluderar och exkluderar individer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. , 356 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 417
Keyword [en]
Identity, higher education, European dimension, competitiveness, Knowledge Economy, language, citizenship, activity, mobility, neo-liberalism, flexibility, Lifelong Learning, Unity in Diversity
Keyword [sv]
flexibilitet, språk, medborgarskap, Identitet, högre utbildning, enighet i mångfald, europeisk dimension, aktivitet, livslångt lärande, rörlighet, neoliberalism, konkurrenskraft, kunskapsekonomi
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10384ISBN: 978-91-85895-01-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-10384DiVA: diva2:17138
Public defence
2008-01-18, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2014-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Jonna

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