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Political allegiance after European integration

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Decades of co-rule have left EU citizens with attachments more complex than labels like 'European' or 'national identity' would suggest. But what kind of ties should we be looking for? How can they be studied, and where does their democratic significance lie? This book combines a conceptual elaboration of the political bond with a sociological study of commonsense suppositions, based on interviews with groups of taxi-drivers in Germany, Britain and the Czech Republic. The author investigates allegiance not in directly-solicited views on European matters but in the expectations and reference-points evoked spontaneously in political discussion. A willingness to take the transnational view on many issues is clear. But how those issues are understood raises doubts about their European dimensions and scepticism about the possibilities for addressing them. Without changes in the way politics is conceived, arguments for the European polity are likely to ring hollow, and with them the formal ties of EU citizenship.

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