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Europe in the political imagination

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Perceptions of the EU tend to be studied by examining responses to targeted opinion polls. This paper looks instead at how citizens draw Europe into a wider discussion of politics and political problems. Based on a series of group discussions with taxi-drivers in Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic, it examines the motifs speakers use to explain the origins of problems, the assumptions they make about their susceptibility to address, and how, when these patterned ways of speaking are applied to the EU, they serve to undermine its credibility as a positive source of political agency.

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