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Transnational-nationalism : collective identity and the shifting of the European far-right

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Title:
Transnational-nationalism : collective identity and the shifting of the European far-right
Creator:
Theodoratos, Pete Justin
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Political Science, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Political science
Committee Chair:
McGuffey, Lucy Ware
Committee Members:
Stefes, Christoph H.
Spehn, Thorsten

Notes

Abstract:
The end of WWII ushered in a new age of European cooperation, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU). The European project is fundamentally rooted in a form of cosmopolitanism, which informs the construction of a common European identity. This stance has its detractors, most notably from the far-right, whose members advocate an isolationist ‘fortress-Europe’ model. The prospect of the European far-right developing a transnational alternative identity to the cosmopolitan one is an intriguing response to the forces of globalization. The primary argument in this study is that, partially in response to the current migration crisis, far-right parties are reinterpreting European identity to construct a ‘transnational nationalism.’ This alternative is ironic because opposition to European political unity is at the heart of European far-right politics yet it is building on the very common identity that it seeks to delegitimize. This study utilizes political and discursive analyses of Populist Radical Right parties, within the framework of a cosmopolitan EU, which present a curious dichotomy between their political aims and their conception of a European identity. A deeper understanding of how the far-right in Europe reconstructs identity furthers our understanding of their recent political successes.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright Pete Justin Theodoratos. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
TRANSNATIONAL-NATIONALISM: COLLECTIVE IDENTITY AND THE SHIFTING
OF THE EUROPEAN FAR-RIGHT
by
PETE JUSTIN THEODORATOS
B.A., Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2012
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science Program
2016


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Pete Justin Theodoratos has been approved for the Political Science Program by
Lucy Ware McGuffey, Chair Christoph H. Stefes Thorsten Spehn
Date: December 17, 2016


Theodoratos, Pete Justin (M.A., Political Science)
Transnational-Nationalism: Collective Identity and the Shifting of the European Far-Right Thesis directed by Associate Professor Lucy Ware McGuffey
ABSTRACT
The end of WWII ushered in a new age of European cooperation, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU). The European project is fundamentally rooted in a form of cosmopolitanism, which informs the construction of a common European identity. This stance has its detractors, most notably from the far-right, whose members advocate an isolationist ‘fortress-Europe’ model. The prospect of the European far-right developing a transnational alternative identity to the cosmopolitan one is an intriguing response to the forces of globalization. The primary argument in this study is that, partially in response to the current migration crisis, far-right parties are reinterpreting European identity to construct a ‘transnational nationalism.’ This alternative is ironic because opposition to European political unity is at the heart of European far-right politics yet it is building on the very common identity that it seeks to delegitimize. This study utilizes political and discursive analyses of Populist Radical Right parties, within the framework of a cosmopolitan EU, which present a curious dichotomy between their political aims and their conception of a European identity. A deeper understanding of how the far-right in Europe reconstructs identity furthers our understanding of their recent political successes.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Lucy Ware McGuffey


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. FRAMEWORK AM) OVERVIEW..................................................1
Purpose.................................................................2
Definitional Framework..................................................3
Far-Right........................................................3
Cosmopolitanism .................................................4
European Cosmopolitan Identity...................................5
T ransnati onal -Nati onali sm...................................6
Methodology.............................................................7
Overview of the European Union and Recent Far-Right Electoral Successes.9
II. POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN IDENTITY ... 15
European Identity......................................................15
Cosmopolitanism and the European Union ................................20
Far-Right Political Parties............................................26
Far-Right Politics..............................................27
Islam and the European Far-Right ...............................31
Cooperation among Far-Right Parties.............................34
III. TRANSNATIONAL-NATIONALIST IDENTITY AND DISCOURSE.......................35
Introduction...........................................................35
Discourse Analysis - Language..........................................36
European Union Leadership.......................................36
Cosmopolitan Identity Construction........................36
IV


European Leadership Discourse Concerning the Refugee Crisis.39
European Leadership Discourse Post-Brexit....................42
Far-Right Party Leadership..........................................44
Far-Right Party Discourse on the European Union .............44
Far-Right Party Discourse on Islam and European Identity ...45
Discourse Analysis - Political and Scholarly Context......................48
Concluding Reflections....................................................51
REFERENCES.......................................................................53
v


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
CDU- Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
EC- European Commission
ECSC- European Coal and Steel Community
EEC- European Economic Community
ENF- Europe of Nations and Freedom
EU- European Union
FNF- French National Front (France)
FPO- Austria’s Freedom Party (Austria)
IF A- International Freedom Alliance ITS- Identity, Tradition, and Sovereignty SDU- Swedish Democratic Youth (Sweden)
UDHR- United Declaration of Human Rights
UKIP- United Kingdom Independence Party (United Kingdom)
UMP- Union for Popular Movement (France)
UNHCR- United Nations High Commission for Refugees
VI


CHAPTER I
FRAMEWORK AND OVERVIEW
The end of WWII ushered in a new age of European cooperation, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU). The European project is fundamentally rooted in a form of cosmopolitanism, which informs the construction of a common European identity. This stance has its detractors, most notably from the far-right, whose members advocate an isolationist ‘fortress-Europe’ model. The prospect of the European far-right developing a transnational alternative identity to the cosmopolitan one is an intriguing response to the forces of globalization. The primary argument in this study is that, partially in response to the current migration crisis, far-right parties are reinterpreting European identity to construct a ‘transnational nationalism.’ This alternative is ironic because opposition to European political unity is at the heart of European far-right politics yet it is building on the very common identity that it seeks to delegitimize. This study utilizes political and discursive analyses of Populist Radical Right parties, within the framework of a cosmopolitan EU, which present a curious dichotomy between their political aims and their conception of a European identity. A deeper understanding of how the far-right in Europe reconstructs identity furthers our understanding of their recent political successes.
This paper is divided into three chapters. The first chapter will introduce this research’s primary purpose, definitional framework, and methodology. This chapter will also offer a brief overview of the history of the EU and current political climate in regard to recent far-right political gains. This overview is necessary to frame the political analysis of competing conceptions of European identity from EU elites and the far-right. The second chapter will consist of an in-depth examination of the political and historical context utilizing
1


the relevant literature on European identity, cosmopolitanism, and far-right political parties. The literature examined pertains specifically to how these areas of research relate to the overarching purpose of this research, namely contrasting views of a transnational European identity. The final chapter will consist of key discourses from European and far-right political leadership with the aim of examining the discussion taking place on European identity. The discourses examined will focus on how both ELI and far-right leadership view the role of the ELI, particularly in regard to identity, with an emphasis on discourse concerning Islam and the current refugee crisis. Discourse from the far-right on the topic of the EU, without a mention of Islam, will also be examined to provide a broader perspective and gauge the consistency of far-right identity discourse. Overall, this research aims to develop a narrative of how European identity is being discussed, the role of the recent refugee crisis in this discussion, and how this fits into electoral successes being seen by the far-right across Europe.
Purpose
The purpose of this research is to examine transnational European identity, partially in relation to how that identity may manifest itself conceptually in the discourse of the far-right. European identity construction is a fluid process, with both the EU and far-right parties offering interpretations. Given that much of the far-right in Europe is typically opposed to the European Union as a supranational entity, one could reasonably expect that there would exist an opposition to the notion of a substantive transnational European identity. This paper will argue that the far-right may be accepting certain aspects of a transnational European identity, while narrowly tailoring it to provide an alternative to the cosmopolitan identity expressed in the foundation of the EU and discourse of EU political elites. Characteristics of the far-right
2


interpretation include appeals to the superiority of European culture and the perceived deficiencies of the ‘other’, which form the basis of a ‘transnational-nationalist’ identity. Significant increases in migration and the perceived threat of terrorism exacerbated by the refugee crisis have presented an opportunity for the far-right to define European identity in relation to the Muslim ‘other’. While nationalist elements continue to be prominent in the discourses of the far-right, which emphasize sovereignty and domestic cultural integrity, there has been an increased inclusion of transnational elements, which emphasize connection to Christianity and a broader ‘European/Western culture’. This ‘transnational-nationalist’ interpretation is a direct challenge to the founding principles and cosmopolitan policy aims of the ELI, which informs ELI interpretation of a multicultural European identity. By conducting both political/historical analyses and an analysis on key discourses emanating from the ELI and far-right party leadership, specifically in regard to Muslim migration and integration, we can view how the discussion emanating from the far-right may be taking place in regard to a transnational European identity.
Definitional Framework
Far-Right
The term ‘far-right’ can encompass a spectrum of ideological stances that are to the right of the mainstream with some significant differences arising between parties. For the purposes of this paper, the theories of Kitschelt (1995), Ignazi (1996), and Mudde (2007) will be utilized. In particular, the term Radical Right Parties (RRPs) offered by Kitschelt (1995) will be used to inform what is meant by the ‘far-right’ in this research and context1. These
1 Kitschelt (1995) examines what circumstances present the best opportunities for ‘radical right parties to emerge, namely when moderate parties converge toward the median voter and there is a gap to fill on the far-
3


theories draw a distinction between the far-right fascist parties that dominated European politics prior to the end of WWII and new populist far-right parties that emerged in the early 1980s (Kitschelt 1995). An important note to make is the difference between ‘populist’ or ‘new’ radical right parties and extreme far-right parties. Mudde (2007) summarizes this difference as simply that the populist radical right does not threaten the free democratic order, whereas the extreme far-right does.2 While the extreme far right has garnered electoral gains as well, the nature of these parties limits the degree to which they cooperate with other parties, as the extreme right is often accused of using violence to achieve their goals (Mudde 2007). While this approach does not allow for an in-depth look at any particular far-right party’s conception of European identity, it can potentially show how the European far-right is discussing identity more generally.
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism in the broadest sense is the belief that all humans belong to a single community, one that supersedes any other identity, such as ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. (Kant [1795] 2015). The literature emphasizes that cosmopolitanism is often referred to in the plural cosmopolitanisms, given that there are numerous interpretations among scholars (Rumford 2007).3 It is argued that the process of European integration is indeed at least
right. Political and societal developments in Western European society since the end of WWII have made support for the far-right outside of the norm, but Kitschelt (1995) examines how a country’s political constituency or its intellectual and organizational legacies may allow ‘radical right’ parties emerge and succeed electorally.
2 See Mudde (2007) for a detailed description of different variations of populist parties, namely right-wing populists, neoliberal populists, and social populists. Furthermore, the differences between populist, protest, right-wing extremist, and fascist parties are explained (41-59).
3 Cosmopolitanism, as a philosophical idea, is concerned with the global community of humans. European cosmopolitanism appropriates many principles of cosmopolitanism and applies them at a European level, and informs part of Europeanism. Europeanism describes the values and norms that Europeans share regardless of borders or national identity and is a significant component of European integration. European
4


partially informed by principles of cosmopolitanism (Beck & Grande 2007; European Commission 2012). Jones (2007) does mention that the EU does not constitute a truly cosmopolitan society, given that there is still an emphasis on the ‘European’, which is precisely the type of identity “cosmopolitanism sets out to transcend” (72). Given the conflict between the broader cosmopolitan theory established by Kant ([1795] 2015), as well as others, and what is occurring with the process of European integration, this research will not be working from a specific definition. Rather, this research posits that the ELI operates partially from a broader cosmopolitan framework, as seen in the discourse from political elites and founding principles, while not embodying the cosmopolitan utopia envisioned by Kant ([1795] 2015) The influence of cosmopolitanism in the founding principles of the ELI and the construction of a European transnational identity will be explored throughout the paper as well.
European Cosmopolitan Identity
This research will work from the premise that the concept of a transnational European identity has emerged and has been accepted by European elites. This identity has its roots in the cosmopolitan philosophical foundations of the ELI, which will be discussed later, and is an active policy aim of the ELI (European Commission 2012). Checkel and Katzenstein (2009) describe cosmopolitan European identity as “shaped in part by the liberalization of national markets in the wake of the Single European Act of 1987 and the process of market opening in an era of globalization” (12). While European cosmopolitanism does not conform completely to the broader theory posited by Kant ([1795] 2015), the historical evolution of
cosmopolitanism therefore informs many of these norms and values that Europeans share and is one of several components that make up Europe and European identity.
5


the cosmopolitan ideal is important in understanding some of the EU philosophical foundations. The European cosmopolitan identity is intimately tied with citizenship, processes of globalization, and the cosmopolitan interpretation is most supported by social and political elites (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009, 12; Fligstein 2009). Competing conceptions of European identity can be examined from within a cosmopolitan/populist dichotomy, with European elites presenting the cosmopolitan interpretation, while the far-right has developed an identity that represents populist elements within European society.
For simplicity sake, European cosmopolitan identity refers to the European identity construction that is a key policy aim of the ELI and the identity interpretation that is professed by European elite. This identity is multicultural and grounded in the principle of a common humanity among Europeans, which is in contrast to the populist identity that is grounded in cultural and ethnic divisions (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009, 12).
Transnational-Nationalism
Transnationalism refers to multiple ties and interactions linking people and institutions across the borders of nation-states (Vertovec 1999). The degree of interconnectivity within Europe, including the sharing of ideas, has grown with European integration and this likewise applies to far-right parties. The term transnational-nationalism will be used to describe the alternate conception of a common European identity potentially being presented by the far-right. This is not to say that there is a mutually agreed upon definition among far-right parties, but that multiple parties are potentially presenting similar alternatives to the cosmopolitan interpretation. The transnational-nationalist identity builds upon the process of European identity construction that has occurred with European integration, only being narrowly tailored to align with traditional far-right ideology. The
6


result is a transnational European identity, accepted by the far-right, which incorporates insular and xenophobic components largely found in nationalist politics (Kitschelt 1995; Mudde 2007). Evidence will be provided to justify the premise that ELI political elites actively endorse a cosmopolitan transnational European identity and that the far-right has built upon and altered that identity to incorporate nationalist ideology.
Methodology
This research will utilize both political/historical and discursive analysis of how European identity has developed and how both ELI elites and the far-right interpret that identity. The political/historical analysis will serve to provide necessary context to the discourse that will be analyzed. Discourse of both European and far-right political elites will be analyzed in order to capture the discussion that is occurring regarding a common European identity. Two aspects of a given statement will be of particular importance, namely the language used by the speaker and the context in which they are speaking. The language used is significant given that it comprises “the basic building block of texts and discourse [... ] not merely as an instrumental, intentional means of information exchange, but primarily as constructive of social and organizational reality, through its framing effect on actors’ thoughts, interpretations and actions” (Heracleous 2006, 11). The primary focus will be on what language is used when discussing broader European society, which includes language that focuses on similarities or differences among groups of people. It is expected that EU elites will focus more on what binds Europeans together as well as shared values, whereas the far-right elites will focus on the differences between people. These discourses will be analyzed within a broader narrative of European identity that is informed by the literature and recent events. Recent events, ideology, and audience are all factors that can change the
7


interpretation of a particular segment of a speech and thus context will be a significant focus of this research during the analysis.
Gee (2011) differentiates between discourse that is simple “language in use” and
discourse that “is composed of distinct ways of speaking/listening and often, too, distinct
ways of writing/reading” (177). This premise is one that applies both to our interactions in
daily life as individuals and as members of a social group. We can adopt a number of identity
roles and how individuals identify within society influences the discourse they use in a
variety of ways. Gee (2011) describes primary discourse that we acquire, which is intimately
tied to our standing as an ‘everyday person’ within our respective communities and family
units, as being integral to how we develop our world views. Discourses beyond our ‘primary
discourse are describes as secondary discourses:
“Acquired within a more ‘public sphere’ than our initial socializing group. We call these ‘secondary Discourses.’ They are acquired within institutions that are part and parcel of wider communities, whether these be religious groups, community organizations, schools, businesses, or governments.” (Gee 2011, 179).
Both primary and secondary discourses are important in regard to identity construction, particularly in how social groups incorporate ideas and values into their socialization. This is seen in how both EU and far-right elites use specific language that reinforces their particular interpretation of European identity. Deconstructing what is meant by specific words in a given speech is central to an understanding of what ideas, values, and characteristics inform the speaker’s conceptualization of identity. While this method is interpretive in nature, existing scholarly research and theory will be utilized along with the analysis, which potentially provides a greater understanding of the context that underlines a given discourse.
8


Overview of the European Union and Recent Far-Right Electoral Successes
The two World Wars left the European continent devastated and led to a profound shift in the international order. European states faced the urgent task of rebuilding and attempting to prevent war on the continent in the future. Cooperation was first concentrated along economic lines, followed by the political, and arguably now, the cultural. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established in 1952 and formed the foundations of post-war European cooperation and paved the way for peaceful coexistence (European Union 2016a). The ECSC was followed by the European Economic Community (EEC), which created the common/single market via the Treaty of Rome in 1957 (European Union 2016a). The single market is governed by ‘four freedoms’, the free movement of goods, services, people, and money and these represent one of the cornerstones of the European project (European Policy Centre 2016). Economic and political cooperation in the EEC continued and membership steadily expanded past the six founding members throughout the latter half of the 20th century. With the entry into force in 1993 of the Maastricht Treaty, the EU was created and political, economic, social, and legal integration expanded significantly (European Union 2016a). The EU is a relatively new social community bringing together different identities under a common vision, and the question of what a European identity potentially looks like or will look like is an intriguing area of research. Today the EU has 28 member states and has evolved significantly, from economic cooperation between the six founding states, into a quasi-supranational entity that today has over 500 million inhabitants (European Union 2016b).
It is often professed by European leaders that one of the aims of the EU is for an ‘ever closer union’ among its member states (Solemn Declaration on European Union 1983).
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While there is no explicitly stated goal of a cosmopolitan society by European policy makers, much of EU rhetoric aligns with what can be considered within a cosmopolitan framework (Rumford 2007).4 This is visible in the stated aims of the ELI and the unique role the union has played in the international arena, including strong support of legal instruments governing international human rights (European Union 2016d; Giubemau 2011). It has been argued that the EU has developed its own distinct European cosmopolitanism, apart from a more broad philosophical interpretation, that influences its direction and the aims of the union (Beck & Grande 2007; Robertson & Krossa 2012).5 European cosmopolitanism has been strengthened by the exchange of people, ideas, and capital and by the diminished significance of national borders between member states. The epitome of this process was the implementation of the Schengen agreement in 1985, which eliminated all internal passport and border controls within the EU (European Union 2016c). Furthermore, the distinctions between national or ethnic identity have become more blurred, as people living within the EU often consider themselves European alongside their national identities (Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2012; Striessnig & Lutz 2016). According to the 2015 Standard Eurobarometer, in regard to citizenship, “an absolute majority of Europeans define themselves first by their nationality and then as Europeans” (Eurobarometer 2015). The construction of European
4 Rumford (2007) points out that that European elites typically do not describe the EU as a cosmopolitan entity, but that there is “a growing literature on the cosmopolitan credentials of the European Union” (3). The absence of cosmopolitanism from EU discourses is attributed by Rumford (2007) to European officials preferring terms such as “‘humanitarian’ or ‘globally aware’” and that perhaps European elites do not want to encourage citizens to view themselves in a more global cosmopolitan identity, as is what cosmopolitanism traditionally denotes (5). Even without the explicit use of the term ‘cosmopolitan’ by EU officials to describe Europe, the literature offers significant evidence that the EU is informed by cosmopolitan principles, albeit these are tailored to a ‘European cosmopolitanism’ (Beck & Grande 2007; Rumford 2007).
5 See Beck & Grande (2007) for a deeper analysis of a ‘cosmopolitan Europe’. Beck & Grande (2007) argue that there needs to be a new political vision and concept for political integration that requires a reconfiguration of cosmopolitanism that looks less at the ‘cosmos’ and at a more European cosmopolitanism.
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cosmopolitan identity does not require a preference for either a national or European identity, with the two identities often overlapping.
The European project has had and continues to have detractors, who often express concerns about overreaching aims of the ELI in relation to state sovereignty as well as the impact on national and ethnic culture. Opposition to the ELI is most prominently seen on the far-right, although not exclusively. Recent years have seen the European far-right gain seats in national and ELI parliaments and assert themselves as a viable political force, which is a significant shift given that these parties have largely existed within the fringes of post-war European society (Fieschi 2000; Halikiopoulou & Vasilopoulou 2014). Far-right ideology is often at odds with cosmopolitanism, hence far-right parties in Europe typically oppose much of the European project and its underlying aims of an ever closer union (Fieschi 2000; Petsinis 2015). Furthermore, the variance in ideology between the far-right and cosmopolitan proponents of the European project and the electoral success achieved by the far-right could potentially be viewed as an existential threat to the ELI. This arguably has already started occurring, the most notable example being the Brexit vote earlier this year, which was partially precipitated by far-right populist sentiments (Wheeler & Hunt 2016). The vote to leave the ELI by one of the strongest member states has been seen as a hard hit to both the union and European cosmopolitanism.
There has also been increased cooperation among far-right parties across Europe, both politically and ideologically, which presents further challenges to the traditional postwar political structure. Transnational cooperation among far-right parties is often overlooked in the literature due to the nature of nationalist party politics and the lack of success they have had when cooperation has been attempted (Fieschi 2000; Startin 2010). These parties tend to
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be nationalistic, xenophobic, and insular, making cooperation outside of their respective states difficult (Fieschi 2000; Ignazi 1996; Kitschelt 1995; Mudde 2007; Startin 2010). That being said, within the European far-right there is also an atmosphere of solidarity taking place and creating opportunities for nationalist parties to cooperate amongst each other (Macklin 2013). Within the European Parliament, far-right parties have established a coalition, the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF). The coalition’s expressed aim is to dismantle the ELI by opposing and removing the supranational powers that the ELI possesses, ironically while taking millions of Euros in funding given to coalitions that meet certain requirements (Willsher 2016). Whether this coalition will manage to overcome the difficulties previous attempts at political unity by the far-right have encountered remains to be seen.
At the heart of the political divide between ELI cosmopolitans and the newly reinvigorated populist far-right is what constitutes a ‘European identity’. Since the founding of the ELI in the early 1990s, the question of what European integration means for individual and collective identity among its citizens has been important. Identity politics plays a significant role in the degree of social cohesion within Europe, as well as is an integral part of both EU and domestic politics (European Commission 2012). The constructions of social and political identities is hotly debated within the context of what constitutes a ‘European’ person. This has been most evident in the current debate on integration of ‘non-Western’ people into European society, most recently Muslims, and how much they are expected to assimilate into their adopted societies. The perceived lack of success in integrating Muslim immigrants into society has been a popular talking point of the far-right, with frequent mention of “no go zones” where it is unsafe to travel to, often with little evidence that this is
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actually the case (Wemple 2015).6 As the far-right increases its political presence, the question of whether one can have a Muslim identity within a broader European identity may impact social cohesion.
The clash between the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity and the far-right one is being fought across numerous arenas and has ramifications for how the ELI will continue to develop. The cosmopolitan interpretation outlines a multicultural diverse society bound by legal principles espousing both social and political equality, whereas the populist interpretation focuses on ethnic and cultural distinctions (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009). This clash is evident in the enactment of domestic legislation that fundamentally is at odds with the legal and philosophical foundations of the ELI and that can lead to tensions between different groups of people. As the ELI views European identity as being tied intrinsically to citizenship, any legislation that is viewed as targeting a particular group of people could be seen as challenging that interpretation of identity. Legislation that curbs the rights of people to openly practice their faith has been introduced with more frequency and this hits at the heart of how Europeans can and should express their identity in public spaces. Proposed prohibitions on religious garb and the building of mosques are one of the most common ways in which the far-right addresses the question of Islam in Europe, limiting multiculturalism. In other words, Muslims can come to Europe, but only if they abandon their cultural identity.
6 The existence of so called ‘no-go zones’ across Europe is a contentious topic. The claim is that there are cities in Europe that authorities have essentially abandoned due to a loss of control over the number of migrants (Graham 2015). It is further claimed that Sharia law has been implemented and has supplanted state laws (Graham 2015). There are instances of ‘Muslim arbitration tribunals’ set up to handle civil or family issues through Islamic law, but these do not supplant the authority of the state, nor is there any evidence to suggest that authorities have ceded control of any parts of Europe (Graham 2015).
In March of 2016, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, claimed that there are over 900 ‘no-go zones’ in Europe, including parts of Berlin, London, Stockholm, and Paris (Nolan 2016). When pressed for evidence, Hungarian officials provided citations primarily from blogs and conspiracy websites to corroborate the claims (Nolan 2016). Furthermore, the US news agency Fox News was forced to issue a correction and apology for reporting that parts of Birmingham in the UK were outside of government control (Graham 2015).
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As Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, recently stated concerning Muslims in Europe “Islam was never part of Europe. It’s the rule book of another part of the world” (Faiola 2016). The way questions of social and political identities are framed and answered is intrinsically tied to the underlying question of how European identity is constructed, with proponents of both cosmopolitan and populist far-right interpretations proposing their own narratives.
Checkel and Katzenstein (2009) note that the question of a European identity is no longer just an academic one, but has become something that is deeply polarized along political lines. The speed at which European integration is occurring, along with the refugee crisis, has exacerbated the politicization of European identity, with cosmopolitan and populist conceptions competing for control of the narrative (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009). The line that has been drawn is one between a multiplicity of identities within a European one and a more narrow definition of European identity. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister and far-right politician, stated that “Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity”, a belief that runs counter to the cosmopolitan interpretation (Mackey 2015). Populist arguments on the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism provide the far-right the opportunity to attack both the EU’s open borders and the far-right’s belief of the incompatibility of Islam with European ideals (Yilmaz 2012). Because recent ‘crises’ in the EU have strengthened the efficacy of populist appeals and arguments by the far-right, there has been a shift of more mainstream parties and their stance on Islam and security (Economist 2014). In 2012, the Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party in France led by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sought to appeal to supporters of the far-right by pledging to adopt tougher policies on immigration and security (Flynn & Le Guernigou
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2012).7 The degree of politicization regarding identity has implications that reverberate in both academia, with new areas of research presenting themselves, as well as in people’s daily lives, with new debates taking place concerning the future of the EU.
7 In May 2015, the UMP was renamed ‘the Republicans’ (Les Republicans) and Nicolas Sarkozy currently is the President of the party and standing in the race for the French Presidency.
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CHAPTER II
POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN IDENTITY
European Identity
European identity is an intriguing area of study as well as an important area of EU policy and the cosmopolitan foundation of the ELI makes identity politics an important question for ELI policy-makers and social scientists alike. The topic is a key area of interest on the European Commission’s (EC) agenda, with numerous programs examining the issue and frequent reports detailing the process (European Commission 2012). A 2012 policy review on European identity looked at research projects under the Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities Programme (European Commission 2012). These projects were in place to examine “different processes of identification with the European Union and [how] its integration project take[s] shape and evolve[s] over time, and on how to reinforce solidarity among Europeans” (European Commission 2012, 1). One of the theoretical concepts of focus in the policy review was cosmopolitanism and the “actively seeking out [of] and appreciating contact with other cultures and hence coincide[ing] with perceived European values of tolerance and equality” (European Commission 2012, 2).8 The European Commission is uniquely concerned with “processes of identity formation and identification with(in) Europe and the EU”, or more simply, how European identity is constructed and why people identify as ‘European’ (European Commission 2012, 1). This interest in understanding why citizens do or do not identify with a transnational European identity is integral to EC efforts to adopt policy with the intent of strengthening citizens’ affinity with that identity (European
8 The term cosmopolitanism is used in the European commission report on European identity, which contrasts European officials not using explicitly in the discourse. This serves to reinforce the notion found in the literature that European identity in informed by cosmopolitan principles.
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Commission 2012). Emphasis by the EC in advocating for policies that inform a European cosmopolitan identity, as seen in the report on European identity, coupled with EU founding and subsequent documents demonstrates this identity construction is an active goal of the EU.
While there is an interest among EU political elites concerning identity as a policy aim, identity is a complex construct that cannot be dictated by policy alone. The development of a transnational European identity that began following WWII can be viewed as a ‘project’ that is occurring in stages. Castiglione (2009) examines political identity as both a “social and historical construct” and differentiates between how the two emerge in relation to a European identity (29). The social construction is reflective of the “institutional nature of the political community, [whereas the historical is] bound up with historical contingencies and with the way in which competing narratives and ideologies shape the self-perceptions of the members of the community” (Castiglione 2009, 29). The differences of these two areas of construction in regard to identity illustrate some of the complexities involved with identity construction. This is especially true in regard to identity construction within a supranational entity that is comprised of a number of states that have profoundly negative histories between each other. So, while the institutional framework of the union might promote identifying as part of the broader European community (i.e. cross-border living, transnational intimate relationships, etc.), there is a historical construction of identity that also plays a role. The prime historical experience that has come to define a common European identity is WWII and the formation of the EU partially was a result of the reflections within European society following the war. Historical construction of European identity evolves from common historical experiences that can influence the narrative of a common identity. For example, the
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place of prominent architect of the European project in the narrative of European integration, which will be examined later in this section.
While there has been research on both the political and historical construction of European identity, the former is featured more prominently in the literature. Political identity has been identified as being particularly important in regard to the construction of European identity (Castiglione 2009; Holmes 2009; Medrano 2009). The ELI places a significant emphasis on European citizenship, as well as the rights and responsibilities that come with it, as being central to the cosmopolitan identity. Holmes (2009) distinguishes between the development of European political identity pre- and post-Maastricht and outlines how European political identity has evolved. Holmes (2009) begins by looking at the Treaty of Versailles and how it introduced “radical experiments with cultural identities” by conferring self-determination rights on “loosely constituted collectivities” (53). This emphasis on the culture and history of a particular group, while dividing people politically based on race and cultural ties, partially influenced fascist ideology with it being refined to fit into the narrative of superiority espoused by these parties (Holmes 2009). Following the devastation of WWII, cooperation increased and the processes of integration began to occur, but the historical component of people’s identities continues to present a roadblock for full acceptance of a European identity. Holmes (2009) concludes that following Maastricht, the political identity foundations have strengthened, but there is still significant push back from groups such as the far-right in opposing a transnational European identity.
Another manner in which the ELI fosters identity construction is the dissemination of myths that inform European identity, and ELI elite have utilized significant persons and events as a way to play an active role in the processes of identity construction. One of the
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prominent ‘myths’ pushed by EU political elites involve the twelve ‘fathers of the European Union’ who were instrumental to the process of integration and cooperation between early EU member states (Kolvraa 2012). Specifically, Jean Monnet holds a special position among these political leaders, both in terms of the political contributions he made and his role in European identity formation (Kolvraa 2012). “His name features prominently when the European institutions engage in narrating the history of European integration and in EU discourse in general” (Kolvraa 2012, 748). Kolvraa (2012) examines the how “political myths often take the form of historical narratives” and how narratives concerning Monnet relate to the development of a transnational European identity. This is significant in relation actions taken by the EU to cement Monnet’s European identity in the founding ‘myths’ of the European proj ect.
Numerous actions taken by the EC in the 1980s can potentially be viewed as attempting to use Monnet’s position as one of the EU’s founding fathers to develop a narrative of a common European identity. There were numerous public buildings and other infrastructure that was named for the politician and discourse at the time sought to use this as a backdrop of European integration and identity. Monnet’s home was transformed into a museum following his death and the central theme of the museum was to reinforce Monnet’s position as ‘the father of the EU’ as well as a common European identity. The President of the EC at the time remarked that the purchase of Monnet’s home and subsequent transition into a museum was “undoubtedly of a nature which contributes to the joint efforts of our two institutions, aiming to raise public awareness of the ‘European idea’” (Kolvraa 2012, 753). This statement speaks to the effort by EU political elites in developing the idea of a common European identity and how the ‘myth’ of Monnet played into this process. Another example
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of Monnet’s position in the identity construction process was seen during debates in 1988 on the naming of the tunnel linking France and Great Britain, the first proposed name was the ’Jean Monnet - Europe Tunnel’, which was remarked that naming it such would “give Europe soul” (Kolvraa 2012, 755).
European political identity is something that is partially constructed through the political space that people occupy, such as citizenship, and is somewhat more easily identifiably than a historical identity. The development of a historical identity with which Europeans identify collectively is a much more complex issue, as it entails not only piecing together a common history, but that interpretation competing with national and ethnic histories. Being a citizen of Europe and holding a European passport is a more tangible symbol of identity and appears to be a more effective method of instilling a sense of European identity. That being said, as the literature has indicated, there are significant attempts to develop a European identity that goes beyond political status and that is where the difference between being a ‘European citizen’ and being ‘European’ become significant. There is generally consensus among ELI elites and the far-right in regard to political status and the identity that conforms to one holding a European passport, but the divergence emerges when discussing a more substantive European identity.
Aside from the active participation by ELI elites in European identity construction, is the shift in how Europeans identify that occurs throughout the integration process. Theorists of European integration often posit that increased economic and political integration would lead to a common European identity (Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012). This idea was formulated into the theory of Ernst Haas (1961) on regional integration, in which he posits that because of a ‘spillover’ effect increased cooperation would bring more cooperation and
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thus more integration. While this identity has not displaced national or ethnic identities, we will see there is a significant amount of evidence that a European identity exists, to varying degrees, alongside both the national and ethnic identities (European Commission 2012; Eurobarometer 2015; Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012). Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz found that Europeans that “participated in Europe” were more likely to identify as European (Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012, 106). By ‘participation it is meant that a person’s economic and social life are not primarily limited to the ‘local’ and they are exposed to people, ideas, and culture outside of their own (Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012). While Europeans have always been exposed to each other, the European project has added the component of a common citizenship, which has shaped how Europeans identify (Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2015). European integration is an evolving process and therefore it is expected that the construction of identity will also develop depending on how that integration proceeds.
Cosmopolitanism and the European Union
Cosmopolitanism is a fluid concept that is difficult to attach a specific definition to, but one definition from the literature is that it is being concerned with the relationship between “the individual, the community, and the world” (Rumford 2007, 2). How citizens view themselves is paramount to how they interact in their communities and with each other, making identity constructs significant within a political context. There is increased scholarly interest in the ELI as a cosmopolitan entity, both in how European states coexist and function as well as the ELI as a global leader. In practice, the EU takes on a unique cosmopolitanism that may be viewed within a context that is wholly European (Beck & Grande 2007; Robertson & Krossa 2012). Citizens of the EU are increasingly viewing themselves in terms
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of a national identity as well as a European one, which fits the European cosmopolitan framework (Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2012). It is significant to note that very few Europeans consider themselves to be only European, but the number of people who identify as both their ethnic/national identity and a European one is significant (Eurobarometer 2015). European cosmopolitanism essentially represents a ‘micro cosmopolitanism’ that uses the EU rather than the world in its framework. While identity construction is complex and it is not agreed upon what the transnational European identity looks like in its entirety, it can be argued that there are clear elements of cosmopolitanism in its formation. This being the case, it is important to identify what principles of cosmopolitanism are present in European identity construction and therefore Kant’s ([1795] 2015) work writing on cosmopolitan society will instrumental in demonstrating the cosmopolitan framework of the EU. The historical foundations of cosmopolitanism are relevant to this research as it will provide historical background, as well as provide context for the political analysis.
Cosmopolitanism has its roots in ancient Greece, when Diogenes of Sinope famously responded, when asked where he was from, that he was a “citizen of the world” (Boon & Delanty 2007, 20). This perspective was radical in Greece at the time, given the importance placed on citizenship and its relationship to the city-state (Boon & Delanty 2007). This concept was developed further by the Stoics, who professed that each person inhabited two worlds, “one which is local and assigned to us by birth and another which is ‘truly great and truly common’” (Held 2005, pg. 10). The Stoics further emphasized that there is a dual allegiance that every person has within them and that the greater of the two is the allegiance owed to the “moral realm of all humanity” (Held 2005, pg. 10). This is not to imply that one
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cannot identify with a specific group, but that everyone is first held morally accountable to his/her first duty, which is to humanity as a whole (Boon & Delanty 2007; Held 2005). The ancient foundations of cosmopolitan theory are visible and play an integral part of post-war European political development and the interaction of the EU in the international arena.
There are a variety of characteristics of cosmopolitanism that the ELI incorporates, both within its borders and internationally, and European identity is integral to this framework. Cosmopolitan principles are observed by the ELI in regard to their work on international human rights and often seen within the rhetoric of European elites. An example of this in practice is the support of Angela Merkel’s welcoming stance on refugees by ELI Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was quoted in the German daily Bild that “history will prove [her] right” (Deutsche Welle 2016). Juncker has further framed the refugee crisis as “an issue of human rights” and that the acceptance of refugees and migrants should be shared among member states (Gotev 2015). It is interesting to note that Juncker’s position also speaks to the right of respect of dignity for migrants arriving in Europe for economic reasons, not only those fleeing conflict (Gotev 2015). By including those who are not citizens as ‘rights holders’, at least in its rhetoric, adheres to a principle of basic human rights for everyone. Human rights based appeals and policies form part of the foundation of the EU’s cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity, along with an appeal of solidarity among member states. While political realities often make it difficult for the EU to function as a cosmopolitan reality, the aim consistently is targeted in that direction.
It is necessary to provide historical context of cosmopolitanism and examine how these principles have influenced the structure and aims of the EU, which in turn influences the construction of European identity. European cooperation following WWII served two
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significant purposes, namely helping to rebuild and preventing future wars between European states. The goal of preventing wars between states builds upon the work of Kant ([1795] 2015), who was instrumental in refining the philosophical idea of a cosmopolitan, or ‘world citizen’. Emmanuel Kant ([1795] 2015), in his essay ‘Perpetual Peace’, develops a principle of cosmopolitanism that provides a framework for peace. This framework can be viewed as two separate parts, namely, how a person should interact with their fellow humans and what steps states should take in order to prevent war. Kant ([1795] 2015) outlines a moral framework of ‘universal hospitality’ that is premised on the argument that there is a “right to the common possession of the surface of the earth, to no part of which anyone had originally more right than another” (25). Universal hospitality dictates how people should interact with one another and emphasizes the common humanity that everyone shares. Kant ([1795] 2015) further formulated a concept of a ‘cosmopolitan right’, which was the “capacity to present oneself and be heard within and across political communities” (Held 2005, pg. 11). The cosmopolitan right entitles any person to operate as a world citizen wherever they might be, provided they act lawfully, and that they will be treated in a hospitable manner.9 Kant’s universal hospitality is seen in the professed goal of promoting human rights “both internally and around the world” as well as the large number of European peoples that have had a welcoming attitude toward refugees from the Middle East and Africa (BBC 2016a; European Union 2016d).
An important component of Kant’s cosmopolitan society is the insignificance of borders on a person’s identity, as citizenship is not a precursor to being the recipient of
9 See Kant ([1795] 2015) for a more detailed analysis of Kant’s cosmopolitan theory and the conditions for ‘perpetual peace’.
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hospitality (Kant [1795] 2015). This is most evident in the capacity for European citizens to receive benefits and maintain political and civil rights across the EU, regardless of where one was born. This principle is also one of the most contentious disputes between European cosmopolitans and the far-right. The implementation of the Schengen Agreement saw to the weakening of national borders, which has resulted in the exchange of ideas, people, and products. Cross-border exchange of people has led to changes that can influence whether someone identifies as European or not. An example of this is an increase in ‘transnational intimate relationships’, where a person is in an intimate relationship with or has a child with a person from another European state (European Commission 2012). These types of situations increase the chances of a person identifying with being European and are key components in identity construction in the EU (European Commission 2012). A 2015 Eurobarometer survey showed that there is a significant disparity in the degree in which people identify as European across EU states, but the majority of these states saw over 50% of people identifying as both European and as their nationality (European Commission 2015). The Schengen Zone has informed the construction of a European identity and is perhaps the policy that most epitomizes the Kantian cosmopolitan ideal.
Contemporary cosmopolitan scholars elucidate eight primary principles of cosmopolitanism: “equal worth and dignity; active agency; personal responsibility and accountability; consent; collective decision-making about public matters through voting procedures; inclusiveness and subsidiarity; avoidance of serious harm; and sustainability” (Held 2005, pg. 12). Held (2005) indicates that these principles should not be viewed as a guideline for cosmopolitan theory, as there are a number of interpretive standpoints in the world (social, cultural, religious, etc.), but rather as “the conditions of just difference and
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democratic dialogue” (12). This is significant as there is no specific criteria for a cosmopolitan society, and implies that there can be differences in interpretation as long as they constitute ‘just difference’. Concepts of global justice are also an important component in cosmopolitan theory and play important roles in EU legal instruments and philosophical foundations. Nussbaum (2005) discusses John Rawls Theory of Justice (1971) in which he recognizes “the transnational force of human rights” (203). Nussbaum (2005) notes that the list of transnational human rights put forth by Rawls is a short one, but they constituted an important step “toward a richer conception of international society” (203). The progression of the idea of international human rights led to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which in turn has informed many of the legal and political principles of the EU (United Nations 1948).
Establishing where European cosmopolitanism exists within the historical and political contexts will aid in framing the discourse analyzed later in this research. The philosophical foundations and the institutional framework of the EU lend themselves to these eight principles of cosmopolitanism and the spirit of the UDHR in a number of ways. A prime example is the EU being the leading donor in humanitarian aid globally (European Union 2016e). This is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon, which states a “purpose [...] to help people in distress, whatever their nationality, religion, gender or ethnic origin” (European Union 2016e). The EU has also been active in the drafting of numerous human rights instruments as well as maintaining strong legal protections within its borders. Examples of supplements to international human rights law are the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, the European Social Charter of 1961 (revised 1996) and the Framework Convention for the Protection of Natural Minorities of 1995 (Council of Europe 2015). While
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it cannot be claimed that this alone is enough to say that the EU is a cosmopolitan entity, treaties that incorporate principles of human rights and cosmopolitanism do strengthen this argument.
Far-Right Political Parties
The European ‘far-right’ is often difficult to offer a precise definition of, partially due to the legacy left by fascism during the 20th century and partially due to ideological variance among parties. Following WWII, European states embarked on the task of understanding and coming to terms with the ideological foundations that precipitated the two World Wars and the Holocaust. Nationalist and xenophobic ideologies underlined many of the policies seen in European states leading up to the war, the extreme being those of the Third Reich and its allies. Far-right parties hold a plurality of views, some of which do espouse neo-Nazi and fascist ideologies, but there is a recent tendency for parties on the far-right to try and appear more mainstream (Portelinha & Elcheroth 2016). Mainstreaming by far-right parties has contributed partially to the successes they have seen in recent years and garnered support from a broader array of people who may be turned off by more radical rhetoric. A prime example of this process is how Marine Le Pen has shifted the French National Front from the anti-Semitic origins present from its founding by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen (McDonnell 2015)10. Three important aspects in relation to the ‘rise’ of the far-right require examination, namely what does far-right ideology look like, the role of Islam in the framing of the European far-right’s messaging, and how far-right parties are cooperating transnationally in a globalized world.
10 Jean Marie Le Pen recently was removed from his honorary position within the French NF and is currently engaged in a legal battle with his daughter have his removal overturned (Gaschka 2016).
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Far-Right Politics
The ‘New Radical Right’ arose as “the mirror image and opposite political pole of the New Left that began to mobilize in the 1960s” (Kitschelt 1995, 2). There is agreement in the literature on far-right parties that these ‘new’ parties are fundamentally different than the previous generation of‘fascist’ far-right parties (Ignazi 1996; Kitschelt 1995; Mudde 2007). Furthermore, the New Radical Right’s emergence responded to the “political preferences and salient demands [that] differ from those that prevailed in the Keynesian Welfare State of the post-World War II era” (Kitschelt 1995, 2). The ‘New Right’ is described as existing as a balance to the “’leftist’ income redistribution by way of encompassing social policies in the economic sphere” (Kitschelt 1995, 2). The ‘New Right’, advocates “rightist free market economics and ‘authoritarian’ hierarchical arrangements in politics, together with a limitation of diversity and individual autonomy in cultural expressions” (Kitschelt 1995, 2). This political preference is seen more frequently from people who are in economic sectors that are the most vulnerable to the competitive nature of the international economy (Kitschelt 1995). Simply stated, the far-right exhibits a more protectionist mindset, which works its way into political debates concerning non-economic topics, such as immigration. Potential motivations for far-right support are important to note because intense politicization of issues of race and religion often result in emotional rather than rational arguments, as is occurring now in Europe.11
The far-right has not always been so opposed to the European project, with some parties showing support in the 1980s during earlier stages of integration (Mudde 2007).
11 See Kitschelt (1995) for a more detailed analysis of far-right political preferences and salient demands.
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Examples of these parties were the Dutch Centre Party (CP), the German Republicans (REP), and even the French NF (Mudde 2007, 159). In 1985, Jean Marie Le Pen called for:
“a common European defense and nuclear strategy, a common foreign policy, common immigration controls, a common antiterrorist policy, a common (as opposed to single) currency, and the establishment of an external European border under supranational control and of a clearly defined ‘European citizenship’” (Fieschi, Shields, & Woods 1996, 240).
This statement clearly contrasts from his later statements, as he is widely known for his anti-EU sentiments. The motivations of far-right parties in supporting European integration varied and the different parties had varied stances in regard to what was termed “European utopias” (Mudde 2007, 165). There was the common agreement that the EU should not become a supranational entity, but other than that each party had its own vision of what a united Europe should look like. These divisions further underline the difficulties that far-right parties have seen in developing a common political agenda regarding the EU.
Levels of support for the European project presented themselves among the European parties, the far-right being no exception, from euro-enthusiasts and euro-pragmatists to eurorejects and euro-sceptics (Mudde 2007). These four categories can be classified into two dimensions, diffuse and specific support:
“Diffuse support denotes agreement with the underlying ideas of European integration, i.e. an integrated market economy and pooled sovereignty. This dimension divides the Europhiles and the Europhobes.” Whereas, “specific support entails the belief that the EU is a good reflection of the underlying ideas of European integration, or at least developing in the right direction. This separates the EU-optimists from the EU-pessimists” (Mudde 2007, 160).
This spectrum provides a framework from which far-right support or opposition to European integration can be gauged throughout the 1980s. While the literature does not delve much into the far-right in regard to European identity during the 1980s, there was likely variance
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among them in much the same manner that there was variance in support for or opposition to European integration.
Far-right support for European integration, in its varying levels, became essentially nonexistent following the Maastricht Treaty, which shifted views on both the “European issue and its salience” (Mudde 2007, 159). The literature notes Maastricht as being a turning point for the far-right, with almost all far-right parties opposing the formation of the ELI (Mudde 2007). Furthermore, the far-right viewed the formation of the ELI as emblematic of global trends of neoliberalism and socialism (Mudde 2007). The far-right saw the ELI as an extension of globalization and incompatible with the nativist ideology to which they virtually all ascribe (Mudde 2007). Following Maastricht the divisions that existed between far-right parties still existed, but the structure of the ELI, particularly the European Parliament, made cooperation, if not ideal, necessary for the far-right (Mudde 2007). This is due to the high threshold necessary to enter the European Parliament and the need for the far-right parties that do pass it to forge alliances in order to have a relevant voice (Mudde 2007). Following Maastricht it would be reasonable to assume that the far-right attempting to cooperate amongst themselves would be a likely scenario.
Although the far-right has expanded its base and the number of votes it receives in Western Europe since the 1980s, generally this has not been significant enough to directly influence national politics until recently (Bushkova & Kitschelt 2009; Cole 2005). The far-right has seen significant increases in the number of seats in national parliaments they hold in the past several years and this trend has the potential to continue, with the economic and refugee crises often being posited as a key factor in their success (Delouis 2012; Fieschi 2000; Halikiopoulou &Vasilopoulou 2014; Halikiopoulou & Vlandas 2015). The two often
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cited catalysts for their success are a weakened economy and the arrival of significant numbers of Muslim refugees and asylum seekers (Hafez 2014; Halikiopoulou & Vlandas 2015). The first catalyst provides a feeling of marginalization and desperation among EU citizens, the second one gives a place to focus their frustrations. This confirms Bushkova and Kitschelt’s (2009) theory that far-right support is derived more from the economic and political preferences of its supporters rather than cultural or ethnic preferences. In other words, the far-right has effectively used the economic and political concerns of the European public to advance their ideology concerning race and culture.12 As the political strength of the far-right has increased, so does their potential to contest the EU’s cosmopolitan version of European identity.
Islam and the European Far-Right
Working under the assumption that increased support of the far-right is predicated on economic and political preferences, which are integral to their identity conceptions, the global economic crisis of 2008 and its continued impact presented a political opportunity for the far-right. Furthermore, the refugee crisis, fueled by the Syrian civil war and general instability in the Middle East have put a further strain on the capacity of EU elites to convey stability to the European public. Discourse on the far-right has linked the issues of the economic crisis and the refugee crisis into a narrative that pits ‘Europeans’ against the Muslim ‘other’ (Wintle 2016). Refugees are often referred to as ‘economic migrants’ regardless of status and a special point is made in stating that a disproportionate number of the refugees coming into Europe are men, a statistic that is contradicted by the United
12 See Kitschelt (1995) and Bustikova & Kitschelt (2009) for a deeper analysis of far-right supporter’s political preferences.
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Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) (Robertson 2015, United Nations [1948] 2016). One result of issue linkage between the economy and the refugee crises is that an overly simplified cause is presented to people that explains their economic situation. This narrative is predicated largely on exaggerated assumptions about migrants, misconstrued statistics, and xenophobic appeals. Countering far-right arguments has been difficult for the EU to manage, as there is disconnect between what ordinary citizens are experiencing and the political elite in Brussels, something that is more frequently acknowledged by EU elites.13
The general political atmosphere along with what is known about the far-right from the literature is useful in framing the differences in positions of EU elites and the far-right. The far-right has succeeded in making many public debates focus on Muslim migration, particularly in regard to security and the economy, and more broadly what criteria define who is European and who is not. This has manifested itself in a variety of policies and attitudes across Europe. From Angela Merkel’s cosmopolitan openness to accept Syrian refugees to France’s ban on overt religious symbols, which is largely believed to be aimed at Muslim women. These vastly different policy approaches demonstrate competing interpretations of what constitutes a European identity, one multicultural and cosmopolitan, the other conditionally tied to the acceptance of certain ‘European’ behaviors and norms. Lack of a unified message from the EU on the refugee crisis and the sheer volume of people arriving to Europe from the Middle East and Africa have strengthened the far-right’s
13 Examples of this include a statement by French President Francois Hollande following the Brexit referendum in which he said, “A jolt is necessary. The EU must be understood and controlled by its citizens. I will do everything to secure profound change rather than decline” (Faiolo & Bimbaum 2016). Also, a former EU commissioner from Germany commented that “we must ask ourselves whether so many decisions need to be taken in Brussels. It’s simply too much. I don’t think this is what the people of Europe want” (Faiola & Bimbaum 2016).
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narrative on the situation, which consists largely of the incompatibility of Islam with Europe (Amnesty International 2012).
Aside from the economic and cultural concerns expressed by the far-right in relation to Islam, security has also become a focal point. Following several terror attacks perpetrated by Islamic extremists, far-right discourse concerning Muslim migration has portrayed Islam as being both a physical and cultural threat to Europe. In response to the terror attacks in Paris, Nigel Farage, the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), said that:
"Every single one of those killers believed they were doing what they were doing in the name of Islam. The thing I suppose that makes me angry about what happened in Paris is frankly the fact that it was so utterly and entirely predictable. It has reached a point where we have to admit to ourselves in Britain, in France, and much of the rest of Europe that mass immigration and multicultural division has, for now, been a failure” (Bloom 2015).
By painting the attacks as predictable, Farage reinforced the far-right argument that there is something about Islam that makes it an incompatible within Europe and that Islam should be eyed with suspicion. Furthermore, when instances like this occur it is common for the far-right to emphasis that they were ‘correct’ and that they are the only ones with people’s safety in mind.
The efficacy of the far-right’s message on Islam is not only because of current events, but can be traced to the position of the ‘other’ Islam has historically held and continues to hold within European society (Wintle 2016; Yilmaz 2012). The Muslim role of the ‘other’ has been seen in how Islam has been framed next to Christianity, the question of Turkish accession to the EU, and the threat of Islamic terrorism (Wintle 2016). Historical events, such as the Inquisition and the Crusades are emblematic of this historical contention
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between Islam and Europe (Wintle 2016). Attacks on Christians and Christian communities, by Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Africa further exacerbate the tension that is currently being experienced (Sherwood 2016). European values are frequently described interchangeably with Western ones and the far-right often uses both when contrasting ‘Islamic’ values. By framing Islam as incompatible with European society, the implication is that Muslims are fundamentally unable to be considered European. Discourses that frame Islam as dangerous are not limited to the far-right, but tend to share an affinity with their ideological positioning.14
Cooperation among Far-Right Parties
The far-right has begun to increase the level of transnational cooperation among a number of parties, which has occurred alongside their electoral success. Within the European Parliament they have formed the ENF coalition, which has given them access to funding from the EU (Willsher 2016). Previous attempts have been made by the far-right to form coalitions and cooperate transnationally, but for various reasons this has never really been successful (Startin 2010). One attempt at this, the transnational coalition Identity, Tradition, and Sovereignty (ITS) in the European Parliament in 2007, lasted less than one year. Often ethnic divisions and stereotypes prevent a cooperative environment to exist between far-right parties. For example, a respondent to a survey administered after the collapse of the ITS coalition stated, “We had problems with the Romanians . . . they were really difficult people to work with. They were fighting amongst themselves the whole time and it was sometimes
14 With the success of the far-right, more mainstream parties on both the left and the right are adopting a hardline on Islam and the position that Islam is incompatible with ‘European’ ideals. This is particularly evident within the French National Front and Marine Le Pen’s attempt to rebrand the party and distance it from its extreme right past (McDonnell 2015).
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very tiring to work with them” (Startin 2010, 440). Fieschi (2000) corroborates this difficulty for far-right parties to cooperate as due to a primacy of nationalism within far-right politics.
The current ENF coalition is focused on commonalities within broad political topics, such as limiting immigration and opposing further integration at the EU level. The ENF charter presents a framework of five principles that members adhere to; democracy, sovereignty, identity, specificity, and freedom. Parties in the ENF, in regard to identity, agree that they “base their political alliance on the preservation of the identity of the citizens and nations of Europe, in accordance with the specific characteristics of each population. The right to control and regulate immigration is thus a fundamental principle shared by the Members of the ENF Group” (Europe of Nations and Freedoms 2016). The ‘right to control immigration’ is linked to the aim of ‘preserving the identity of the citizens’ of European nations in the same section of their charter (Europe of Nations and Freedoms 2016). This principle speaks intimately to how the far-right conceptualizes identity and while there is not explicit denial of a transnational European identity, it is clear from the phrasing in the charter that it is not an accepted position that one exists.15 Also, the right to ‘control and regulate’ immigration speaks clearly to the far-right’s opposition to multiculturalism and the position that native identity is threatened by a multicultural society. This principle from the charter will be significant to compare with the discourse emanating from the far-right in order to see if there is consistency between the two.
15 The ENF charter contains positions that align with what the literature tells us about far-right political ideology and policy positions. This is important when analyzing the discourse on European identity to examine whether the stated positions of the far-right match what is stated by its leadership.
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CHAPTER III
TRANSNATIONAL-NATIONALIST IDENTITY AND DISCOURSE
Introduction
The refugee crisis, the threat of Islamic extremism, and Muslim integration has propelled the far-right electorally and helped to fostered transnational cooperation within the European Parliament. This cooperation has been shown to present aims and principles that align with what is traditionally a far-right position on national identity. The far-right is a strong proponent for the primacy of national identity and national culture, which is evident from the stated position of the ENF and what the literature tells us about far-right parties more broadly. Discourses of far-right elites can be valuable in identifying stances on European identity and whether they align with traditional far-right positions. Identity construction is a complex process and typically a simple black and white answer does not provide a complete picture. An analysis of discourse emanating from the EU and the far-right can potentially show what an alternative presented by the far-right might look like and whether that aligns with traditional ‘far-right’ conception of identity. It is posited by this research that the discourse will show that there is an accepted cosmopolitan identity, that the far-right is presenting an alternative that builds upon already constructed European identity, and that the recent refugee crisis has played a significant role in the discourse of the far-right.
Discourse Analysis- Language
European Union Leadership
This research seeks to determine how the far-right identity interpretation contrasts and provides an alternative to the cosmopolitan one. Given that the cosmopolitan
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interpretation, as indicated by Checkel and Katzenstein (2009), is largely a product of European elites, it is relevant to use the discourse of European political elites to present that identity. Discourse will be analyzed from both ELI officials along with relevant government officials from individual European states, such as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. The discourse analysis will serve three purposes, to illustrate how the cosmopolitan identity presents itself in language used by the proponents of a transnational European identity, to examine how the language used by ELI elites in regard to the refugee crisis fits into a cosmopolitan framework, and positions on the future of European integration given the significance of the Brexit vote.
Cosmopolitan Identity Construction
European identity construction has been shown to be an important aim of the ELI and officials have expressed that lasting political unity is predicated on the forging of a common identity (European Commission 2012). It is often a touchy subject to be broached, given a perceived disconnect between ordinary citizens and Brussels, yet EU officials still highlight the importance of developing a clear vision of European identity (Mahony 2012). Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament, gave an unusually direct statement concerning the development of a transnational European identity:
“If we want to build a lasting union of solidarity we also need to invest in European identity. We need to understand history and not just as compilation of national histories” (Mahony 2012).
This statement draws a clear line between the viability of the European project and fostering a common identity. The statement professes that a common history is central to the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity, with a focus on European history being an
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amalgamation of histories, not one of individual ones. The language used indicates European identity is key to the viability of the EU itself, as the Tasting union’ is conditioned on investing in ‘European identity’. This statement furthermore underscores the purpose behind initiatives that have sought to highlight a common history and identity, such as the naming of public buildings and infrastructure discussed earlier.
Discourse from ELI elites points to an intent to foster a transnational European identity that is specifically cosmopolitan in nature. It is particularly important to mention that the acceptance of a transnational European identity does not mean that the national identity ceases to exist, but that citizens accept both. Leonard Orban, the former EC Commissioner for Multilingualism, remarked on whether he thought a ‘European identity’ was possible with this statement:
I think yes, it is possible. I don’t think that the variety of languages in Europe creates division. The divisions are sometimes created by different stakeholders trying to promote their own agenda; an agenda that is not similar to the European Union” (Debating Europe 2011).
Orban speaks to how linguistic differences do not in themselves inhibit a European identity, but are often used as a political tool by those who oppose the EU agenda on identity. This statement indicates that there is an agenda aimed at fostering a common identity emanating from EU elites. In fact, Orban later on in this interview states that:
“By defending the language of different people living in the European Union, we may offer this feeling of really being European” (Debating Europe 2011).
The emphasis on diversity in union is indicative of the role cosmopolitan principles play in the construction of European identity. There is an acknowledgement of differences, but with an emphasis on these differences not being something that detracts from a person being
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considered a part of European society. Again, this interpretation of European identity is intimately tied with cosmopolitan principles and the foundations of the ELI itself.
Ultimately, the transnational cosmopolitan identity is predicated on values that tie Europeans together, rather than an ethnic or racial consideration. These values are indicative of a European cosmopolitanism that seeks to remove the traditional state borders and limitations for all EU citizens. Angela Merkel, speaking as a person bom in communist East Germany, offers a unique perspective into the importance of a common value system and identifying with a united Europe. Merkel remarked that:
“Our union is our good fortune. It is our good fortune that we are united, and it is only in a united Europe that we [Germans] will continue to prosper” (Traynor 2012).
This statement speaks to Merkel’s belief in the importance of the European project for Germans in particular, which itself does not delve deeply into a common identity, but an example of how an individual can identify as European. Merkel continues by stating:
“For 35 year, until the wall came down, I suffered the restriction of not being able to just pop across to Western Europe. It was my dream for that to be possible. This is my continent - a continent where people hold the same values dear that I do” (Traynor 2012).
Merkel transitioned from speaking as a German to a broader identity that aligns with the values of Western Europe. Furthermore this statement revealed a personal perspective of what European values, and ultimately the European project, mean to someone from Eastern Europe. Because of the European project, a person bom outside of Western Europe can claim those values as their own, as Merkel did when she referred to Europe as ‘my continent’. Merkel concludes by speaking as to what these values that European citizens share and identify with entail:
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“This is a continent that can enable you to help shape the world, and stand up for the things that will safeguard the future of humanity - human dignity, freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, the right to protest, sustainability in business and mitigation of climate change” (Traynor 2012).
This final statement speaks intimately to the values that the European project represents and to the cosmopolitan nature of those values. Utilizing the word ‘humanity’ as opposed to ‘European’ or ‘German’ demonstrates the first duty to humanity as a whole that Kant ([1795] 2015) wrote on. Merkel is one of the European project’s more ardent defenders and her rhetoric expresses that notion of a dual identity, one ethnic and one European, as in practice.
European Leadership Discourse Concerning the Refugee Crisis
As mentioned previously, the refugee crisis, exacerbated as a result of the continued Syrian civil war, has created a tense political standoff in the EU and partially precipitated the electoral gains seen by the far-right. Given that there has been an intense political price paid in relation to the influx of refugees, it is important to examine discourse in relation to the refugee crisis to see if there is consistency throughout the crisis. The paramount example of an open refugee policy was when Angela Merkel and she stated:
“We are going to manage this - if there are obstacles to overcome, then we will have to work to overcome them. We are ready to show what we are made of’ (Colpaert & Tavani 2015).
Merkel was speaking as a European, with the ‘we’ referring to Europe and European citizens. While Germany’s open policy has not been universally accepted among European states, among European ‘cosmopolitans’ this approach, linked to European values of humanitarianism, has shown up consistently. Francois Hollande remarked, in response to France accepting more refugees and asylum seekers, that:
“We will do this because I believe it is a principle which France is bound by” (Chu 2015).
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While Hollande is not speaking for all of Europe as Merkel was previously, it is clear that he is referring to principles of humanitarianism found in both liberal democratic society as well as professed by the EU. Similarly Jean-Claude Junker stated:
“[Tackling the crisis was] a matter of humanity and human dignity. It is true that Europe cannot house all the misery in the world. But we have to put it into perspective” (BBC News 2015).
The language utilized in these perspectives on the necessity and responsibility to act in regard to the refugee crisis align with the cosmopolitan principle of hospitality and with the human rights principles enshrined within the foundations of the ELI. The refugee crisis presented a challenge to European politicians to abide by the values and principles that inform the ELI, and while this was not universal among ELI political elite, there was a significant push to maintain the image of the ELI being concerned with international human rights.
While there was initial praise for the decision to accept significant numbers of refugees from the Middle East, the logistics and difficulties associated with the task soon became evident. Political pressure from the far-right, as well as more moderate political elements, increased as the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers entered the ELI. Examining more recent discourse on the crisis can potentially show whether the commitment to cosmopolitan and humanitarian principles are consistent even when potentially unpopular. Following Angela Merkel’s party the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) losses in regional elections, the chancellor defended her decision as “absolutely right” although she further stated:
“If I could, I would turn back time by many, many years to better prepare myself and the whole German government for the situation that reached us unprepared in late summer 2015” (Smale & Eddy 2016).
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Merkel, while admitting that Germany (and Europe) had underestimated the challenges of an open-door refugee policy, maintains that from a humanitarian and values perspective the decision was correct. She expresses regret for the lack of preparation, but not for the underlying principles that informed the German position. Policy did shift throughout the refugee crisis and a deal was struck with Turkey to try and manage the flow of refugees (Copley 2016). Jean-Claude Juncker while discussing the deal remarked on a border fence that was being constructed between Greece and Macedonia, he stated:
"I don't share the view of some that this fence - or building fences in Europe in general - can contribute anything to the long-term solution of the refugee crisis. Fences may prevent refugees from moving on, but no fence and no wall is high enough to deter these people from coming to Europe when they are fleeing war and violence in their home countries" (Copley 2016).
While not as forceful as Merkel’s ‘absolutely right’ comment, this statement by Juncker is telling in that it shows empathy with the plight of those fleeing war and violence. This statement is definitely toned down from those at earlier points during the crisis, but there is still adherence to ELI foundations of human dignity and openness. The difficulties of the situation certainly changed political perspectives on how to tackle the crisis, but among proponents of the European project, the will to espouse principles of humanitarianism remained.
European Leadership Discourse Post-‘Brexit’
Post-‘Brexit’ discourse is relevant to this particular research as it can potentially give us a glimpse at a couple of things, namely whether there is still a strong commitment to the goal of an ‘ever closer union’ and how leadership discusses the UK and its relationship to Europe following the referendum. Following the referendum in the UK that resulted in decision to leave the EU, there are now questions of what ‘Brexit’ means in regard to
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continued European unity and European identity. A statement made by Angela Merkel following the vote speaks to the challenges moving forward:
"We take note of the British people's decision with regret. There is no doubt that this is a blow to Europe and to the European unification process” (BBC News 2016b).
Merkel continued in regard to the future:
"[Germany has] a particular interest and a particular responsibility to make European unity a success” (BBC News 2016b).
Merkel mentions an interest in making sure European unity is a success, and as seen in other statements on European identity, unity is often tied intrinsically with the construction of a European identity. Discourse from European elites following ‘Brexit’ may provide a glimpse of commitment to the process of identity creation that is one of the foundations of European unity.
This mixture of regret and renewed fortitude for the project followed the vote, as well as speaking toward reevaluating the European project. Examining discourse related to reevaluating the European project and European identity could show whether this reevaluation will also consist of a shift of thinking on identity. The Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa remarked following the ‘Brexit’ vote that:
"We have to serenely respect the decision of the majority of the British people, in the certainty that the European project remains valid to defend the values that mark our common identity” (BBC News 2016b).
Rebelo de Sousa speaks to values contained in the European project that inform a common identity. We can extrapolate that these values are those that inform European institutions, foundational philosophy, and the rhetoric emanating from proponents of a common European identity. In a post-‘Brexit’ speech given by the President of France, Francois Hollande, the phrase ‘European Identity’ was used several times and was broadly defined as such:
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“European identity isn’t simply about defending oneself: it’s about standing up for values and conveying a message to the world. What method is there for achieving this? The one which Jacques Delors proposed during his first term as leader of the European Commission: a shared goal, a timescale and a programme of measures. That’s the line Jean-Claude Juncker adopted in his speech to the European Parliament, and France wholeheartedly supports this approach” (Hollande 2016).
Relating this concept of European identity to the forthcoming ‘Brexit’ discussions, Hollande spoke passionately about the European project, describing what is at stake in the process of the UK leaving the EU:
“For all these reasons, France - in conjunction with our partners, and letting the Commission do the job of negotiating, of course - is going to defend an idea of Europe. A Europe which isn’t simply about defending a market or financial centres; it isn’t simply about wanting more investment here than there might be elsewhere. Europe is about borders, protection - protection of a model, a culture and values which deserve to be fiercely defended and promoted with dignity everywhere. That’s why this Europe must be defended, because, as Jacques Delors said, it’s our Europe” (Hollande 2016)
Hollande notes that the European project is not only an economic or political union, Europe is also about ‘culture and values’ and those values are common, as indicated by the last part of it being ‘our Europe’. These are just a few examples of the response of European elites following the ‘Brexit’ vote, but there seems to be a continued commitment to the underlying principles and aims of an ‘ever closer union’.
Far-Right Party Leadership
Far-Right Party Leadership on the European Union
These positions contrast starkly with discourse of the far-right and one of the most discussed topics by the far-right is the EU and how its existence is a threat to national sovereignty. Statements and speeches of far-right leaders when discussing the EU, without any reference to Islam or Muslim migration, tend to align with what is typically expected of the far-right. National sovereignty, opposition to multiculturalism, and the importance of
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national identity are prominent themes that emerge in this discourse. Heinz-Christian Strache, of the Austria’s Freedom Party (FPO) recently commented on the Brexit vote and said
“We don’t want Europe to be a carbon copy of the United States... We want a Europe of fatherlands” (A1 Arabiya 2016).
Strache’s statement drew attention to two things, namely opposition to multiculturalism, for which the United States is often referenced synonymously with, and that the FPO views European identity within the context of separate nation-states. Another example of clear opposition of the EU and the importance of national identities is in an opinion piece that Marine Le Pen of the French National Front penned in the New York Times:
“And what about the European Parliament? It’s democratic in appearance only, because it’s based on a lie: the pretense that there is a homogeneous European people, and that a Polish member of the European Parliament has the legitimacy to make law for the Spanish. We have tried to deny the existence of sovereign nations” (Le Pen 2016).
This is a strong denial of the presence of a common European identity, at least in terms of ethnicity, and also a strong defense of state sovereignty. These statements are indicative of the aims that the ENF and individual far-right parties have professed that are consistent with traditional far-right ideological stances. The anti-EU stance, and subsequent opposition to a transnational European identity, can be assumed by language used by the far-right in conjunction with the literature on far-right ideology and parties, as well as the stated aim of the ENF in the European Parliament.
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Far-Right Party Leadership on Islam and Europe
When Islam or Muslim migration/integration is the focus of the speaker, certain speeches by far-right leaders elude to the notion of a transnational European identity can be seen. Using another example from Marine Le Pen, in a debate on Islam and Europe, Le Pen stated:
“Europe will no longer be Europe, it will turn into an Islamic republic. We are at a turning point, and if we don't protect our civilization it will disappear. Yes, I'm attached to the nation. I want to preserve our cultural and historic identity.” (Amnesty International 2012, 17).
It is interesting to see how she refers to ‘European civilization’ as a single concept while using the possessive ‘our’ and the singular ‘identity’ in the following sentence. This is in stark contrast to the opinion piece written in regard to the EU, with only a passing a reference to the nation in the second part of this statement. The very act of framing the discussion on Islam in Europe as ‘us’-versus-‘them’ is indicative of Le Pen conceptualizing European identity transnationally. It would be more common for a far-right politician to speak of the threat to the national culture or civilization, which is also frequently done, but speaking of a European collective is becoming more common in relation to Islam.
A speech given by Geert Wilders, a Dutch far-right politician, at a gathering in Palm Beach, Florida contained this excerpt in regard to a new far-right organization he had founded:
“I have established the International Freedom Alliance (IFA), an international organization to fight for freedom and to oppose Islam, here, in America, in Europe, and Israel, and Canada, Australia, everywhere in the free world. [...] Our mission is to preserve and save our Judeo-Christian civilization and values, and therefore we also advocate no more mosques and [to] close down all Islamic schools” (Wilders 2014).
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Again we see a common identity centered on religion espoused by a prominent far-right politician, this time addressing a far-right crowd of supporters across the Atlantic. This section of Wilders’ speech establishes a divide between the ‘other’ and the people, is a common theme within far-right discourse. The possessive ‘our’ is again used, this time when referencing a common religious heritage and common goals for Judeo-Christian people. This statement seems to indicate that there is an acceptance, if not of a political or ethnic common identity, at least of a cultural transnational one predicated on common Christian values and a common history.
Another component of the far-right’s discourse in regard to Islamic migration is that much of it implies that terrorism is synonymous with Islam. This premise of terrorism being integrally tied to Islam is furthermore used to reinforce the far-right position of Islam being incompatible with Europe, or European ideals. The leader of the Italian far-right party, the Northern League, Matteo Salvini, spoke on the topic following the Paris attacks, he stated:
“Immigrants who are out of control do not help security. Of course if the terrorists turn out to be of second, third or fourth generation (of immigrant families) it’s even worse because it means that Islam is not compatible and cannot be integrated with democracy” (Forward 2015).
Matteo speaks of ‘immigrants’ and immediately ties it with terrorism and then brings it back to Islam. Not only does this statement attempt to link Muslim migrants with terrorism, it attacks the notion that they are worthy of citizenship within a democratic Europe, regardless of the length of their roots in Europe. This linkage is seen throughout far-right discourse and is instrumental in cementing the ‘us versus them’ mentality that is common in far-right political discourse. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, likewise tied the Paris attacks to Muslim migration during his response to the attacks, when he remarked:
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“We don’t think that everyone is a terrorist but no one can say how many terrorists have arrived already, how many are coming day by day. Those who said yes to immigration, who transported immigrants from war zones, those people did not do everything for the defense of European people (Robins-Early 2015).
Again, we see a theme of immigration, Islam, terrorism, and security. Although, there is also this collective mentality in regard to Europeans defense, which while certainly not an endorsement of a common identity, it implies a broader concern for Europe as a whole.
An intriguing example of how the transnational nationalist identity is being expressed by the far-right is via party videos. The Swedish Democratic Youth produced a short video titled “SDU: Salute to the European Youth” in which young Europeans, in their native languages, declared that their cultures, beliefs, and freedoms are under attack (Swedish Democratic Youth 2014). The threat being discussed, and a reoccurring theme emanating from the far-right, is the ‘bureaucratic elite’ in Brussels and the threat to national sovereignty that the EU represents. This corresponds with the far-right stance on the EU, but by taking a closer look there is an interesting component to the video that speaks directly to far-right conceptions of European identity. Nearly all of the speakers in the video are visibly lightskinned and there only representative of southern Europe is the Spanish speaker. There is no overt acknowledgement of this in the video, but from the exclusions one can get a glimpse of what phenotypical criteria the far-right considers to be European. The video further attacks an “insane experiment with multiculturalism” that was tearing apart a previously united Europe. The imagery and the allusion to Muslim integration sends the message of a unified people who share a common identity that is under attack.
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Discourse Analysis - Political and Scholarly Context
The discourse analyzed examines the discussion of European identity through a very specific lens, and while not all-encompassing, potentially illustrates a few intriguing things. Namely, far-right parties and EU elites both have a conception of a European identity that is predicated on certain values, with some overlap. Proponents of the European project have adopted a cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity that is present in the discourse on identity, even if it is not explicitly referred to using that terminology. The far-right has built upon the identity construction process occurring in the ELI, tailoring the definition of European identity into one that utilizes traditional far-right ideology and political positions. Political and historical context will provide a frame from which to analyze the significance of the discourse as it pertains to a transnational European identity. This section will serve to take the discourse analyzed in the last section and unpack how these identity discourses are relevant to the current political climate in Europe.
The discourse analysis showed that, among numerous ELI elites, there is a relatively consistent commitment to a cosmopolitan interpretation of what it means to be ‘European’. Proponents of this interpretation professed a principle of European peoples falling under an identity of values that has its roots in cosmopolitanism, human rights, and human dignity.
The refugee crisis presented a political challenge that led to a questioning of the principles that underline the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity. While there were significant policy shifts during this time, the discourse showed that the commitment to basic fundamental ‘European’ values and ideals, by ELI elites have not changed significantly. Furthermore, the discourse alluded to the development of a European identity as being a central policy aim of the ELI. The transnational European identity is predicated on shared
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values and those values are reinforced by EU institutions and policies. Values frequently espoused by EU cosmopolitans are those of liberal democracy and commitment to the world as a whole. Policies such as Schengen and Germany’s open door refugee policy act to reinforce and construct an identity that is less predicated on borders and more on the exchange of people and ideas. The proponents of this interpretation of European identity indicate its importance in regard to the viability and strength of the EU as a political reality.
The far-right interpretation of European identity is likewise predicated on values and somewhat ironically builds upon many of the values that underline the cosmopolitan interpretation. The far-right often uses the language of liberal democracy when discussing identity and their political agenda. While the language may at times be similar, the meaning is starkly different as the far-right interpretation envisions those values to only be applicable to a select group of people, typically those who share an ethnic affinity with the speaker. This is a key component of the transnational-nationalism, as the traditional ethnic or cultural identity in far-right ideology is replaced with a European identity, but a very narrowly defined one. This identity is predicated on what the far-right considers ‘European values’. When these values are viewed within the context of the literature on far-right parties and the current political climate, the interpretation is one of a white Christian European. For example, a far-right interpretation seems to view all of those liberal democratic values that are often referenced as being intrinsically tied to European Christian ‘civilization’.
What was intriguing about the discourse is that when it came to the topic of Islamic migration and integration into Europe, the speakers more frequently spoke of ‘Europeans’, not only their own ethnic groups. There is more use of terms such as ‘European values’, ‘Christian civilization’, and ‘European culture’ when contrasting these concepts with Islam.
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This is the groundwork for the concept of a ‘transnational-nationalist identity, which emphasizes the superiority of ‘European civilization’ and the inferiority of the ‘other’. Essentially, transnational-nationalism perspectives align with what the literature states in regard to traditional far-right political and ideological positions, only Europe represents the role that the nation-state traditionally does. Given the level of integration that has taken place in Europe over the past several decades, it would be difficult for far-right parties to expand their base without accepting people who have been positively impacted by this process. This can be assumed to partially explain why the far-right has tried to rebrand itself as less radical, as a method of reaching part of the electorate that is turned off by more racist or xenophobic appeals.
The relationship between the cosmopolitan and far-right interpretations of European identity is complex. Both interpretations outline different views of what it means to be European, but common themes often present themselves. While if pressed, far-right politicians would express the superiority of their own ethnic and cultural background over a ‘European’ one, the discourse has shown that there is evidence of a transnational European identity existing alongside the national one among the far-right, much in the same way cosmopolitan Europeans maintain their national identities. Therefore, it is not to say that the far-right has abandoned their traditional notions of national identity, but that the European identity construction process has likewise influenced identity conceptions among them. This is evident in the manner in which the far-right discusses ‘European culture’, European civilization’ and ‘European values’, all themes that emerged as a result of the European project and integration. The meaning of these ideas for ELI elites and far-right leadership is clearly different, but their genesis is the same. Thus the transnational-nationalist
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interpretation of European identity is integrally related to the cosmopolitan identity that has been constructed in conjunction with European integration.
Concluding Reflections
The ELI is facing a number of problems that threaten to undo decades of postwar cooperation between member states. The UK vote to leave the EU has raised questions about whether other states will follow suit and the far-right will be an integral part of that discussion, with the far-right proclaiming a victory over the EU and the integration of Europe. Also the manner in which the refugee crisis is addressed will likewise be an important discussion moving forward, with a balancing act between adhering to the core cosmopolitan and humanitarian principles of the EU and taking seriously the frustrations of those being courted by the far-right. All of these political questions are related to identity and specifically what sort of identity do Europeans possess and how the EU will be shaped by this, and will it lead to an open cosmopolitan society or the ‘fortress-Europe’ model that the far-right desires.
Further areas of research on far-right cooperation and identity construction are not limited just to Europe, but also to an increasingly globalized world. There is evidence that the far-right has begun to show transatlantic and pan-Eurasian cooperation, which could have profound implications for global politics (Arnold & Romanova 2013; Polyakova 2014).
Nigel Farage, has recently rallied support for Donald Trump in the United States presidential race, as a show of nationalist solidarity (Teague 2016). With the intense debate on race in the US and the racial undertones seen in the Brexit debate, this is an interesting ‘alliance’. Along with a transnational ideological comradery finding its way into the far-right, funding has allegedly been flowing from Russia to far-right European parties, which has been beneficial
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for their electoral successes (Foster & Holehouse 2016). Challenges aimed at subverting the international order that has been in place since the end of WWII are on the rise and the far-right, once thought to be relegated to the political margins, is playing an increased role. All of this, tied together with shifting views on identity, has the potential to see the far-right evolve in new and unpredictable ways.
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Full Text

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TRANSNATIONAL NATION A LISM: COLLECTIVE IDENTITY AND THE SHIFTING OF THE EUROPEAN FAR RIGHT by PETE JUSTIN THEODORATOS B.A., Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2012 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science Program 2016

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Pete Justin Theodoratos has been approved for the Political Science Program by Lucy Ware McGuffey , Chair Christoph H. Stefes Thorsten Spehn Date: December 17, 2016

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iii Theodoratos, Pete Justin ( M.A., Political Science ) Transnational Nationalism: Collective Identity and the Shifting of the European Far Right Thesis di rected by Associate Professor Lucy Ware McGuffey ABSTRACT The end of WWII ushered in a new age of European cooperation, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU). The European project is fundamentally rooted in a form of cosmopolitanism, whic h informs the construction of a common European identity. This stance has its detractors, most notably from the far right, whose members advocate an right developing a transnational alt ernative identity to the cosmopolitan one is an intriguing response to the forces of globalization. The primary argument in this study is that, partially in response to the current migration crisis, far right parties are reinterpreting European identity to construct a political unity is at the heart of European far right politics yet it is building on the very common identity that it seeks to delegitimiz e. This study util izes political and discursive analyses of Populist Radical Right parties , within the framework of a cosmopolitan EU , which present a curious dichotomy between their political aims and their conception of a European identity. A deeper understanding of how the far right in Europe reconstructs identity furthers our understanding of their recent political successes. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Lucy Ware McGuffey

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. FRAMEWORK AND OVERVIEW ................................ ................................ .............. 1 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 2 Definitional Framework ................................ ................................ ................................ . 3 Far Right ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 3 Cosmopolitanism ................................ ................................ .............................. 4 European Cosmopolitan Identity ................................ ................................ ....... 5 Transnational Nationalism ................................ ................................ ................. 6 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 7 Overview of the European Union and Recent Far Right Electoral Successes .............. 9 II. POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN IDENTITY ... 15 European Identity ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 15 Cosmopolitanism and the European Union ................................ ................................ 20 Far Right Political Parties ................................ ................................ ............................ 26 Far Right Politics ................................ ................................ ............................. 27 Islam and the European Far Right ................................ ................................ .. 31 Cooperation among Far Right Parties ................................ ............................. 34 III. TRANSNATIONAL NATIONALIST IDENTITY AND DISCOURSE ................... 35 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 35 Discourse Analysis Language ................................ ................................ ................... 36 European Union Leadership ................................ ................................ ............ 36 Cosmo politan Identity Construction ................................ .................... 36

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v European Leadership Discourse Concerning the Refugee Crisis ........ 39 European Lea dership Discourse Post Brexit ................................ ....... 42 Far Ri ght Party Leadership ................................ ................................ .............. 44 Far Right Party Discourse on the European Union ............................ 44 Far Right Party Discourse on Islam and European Identity ............... 45 Discourse Analysis Political and Scholarly Context ................................ ................. 48 Concluding Reflections ................................ ................................ ................................ 51 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 53

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vi LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CDU Christian Democratic Union (Germany) EC European Commission ECSC European Coal and Steel Community EEC European Economic Community ENF Europe of Nations and Freedom EU European Union FNF French National Front (France) FPO Austria (Austria) IFA International Freedom Alliance ITS Identity, Tradition, and Sovereignty SDU Swedish Democratic Youth (Sweden) UDHR United Declaration of Human Rights UKIP United Kingdom Independence Party (United Kingdom) UMP Union for Popular Movement (France) UNHCR United Nations High Commission for Refugees

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1 CHAPTER I FRAMEWORK AND OVERVIEW The end of WWII ushered in a new age of European cooperation, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU). The European project is fundamentally rooted in a form of cosmopolitanism, which informs the construction of a common European identity. This stance has its detractors, most notably from the far right, whose members advocate an right developing a transnational alternative identity to the cosmopolitan one is an intriguing response to the forces of globalization. The primary argument in this study is that, partially in response to the current migration crisis, far right parties are reinterpreting European identity to construct a is ironic because opposition to European political unity is at the heart of European far right politics yet it is building on the very common identity that it seeks to delegitimize. This study utilizes political and discursive analyses of Populist Radical Right parties, within the framework of a cosmopolitan EU, which present a curious dichotomy between their political aims and their conception of a European identity. A deeper understanding of how the far right in Europe reconstructs identity furthers our understanding of their recent political successes. This paper is divided into three chapters. The first chapter will introduce this offer a brief overview of the hi story of the EU and current political climate in regard to recent far right poli tical gains. This overview is necessary to frame the political analysis of competing conceptions of European identity from EU elites and the far right. The second chapter will consist of an in depth examination of the polit ical and historical context utilizing

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2 the relevant literature on European identity, cosmopolitanism, and far right political parties. The literature examined pertains specifically to how these areas of r esearch relate to the overarching purpose of this research, namely contrasting views of a transnational European identity. The final chapter will consist of key discourse s from European and far right political leadership with the aim of examining the discu ssion taking place on European identity. The discourse s examined will focus on how both EU and far right leadership view the role of the EU, particularly in regard to identity, with an emphasis on discourse concerning Islam and the current refugee crisis. Discourse from the far right on the topic of the EU, without a mention of Islam, will also be examined to provide a broader perspective and gauge the consistency of far right identity discourse. Overall, this research aims to develop a narrative of how Eur opean identity is being discussed, the role of the recent refugee crisis in this discussion, and how this fits into electoral successes being seen by the far right across Europe. Purpose The purpose of this research is to examine transnational European identity, partially in relation to how that identity may manifest itself conceptually in the discourse of the far right. Euro pean identity construction is a fluid process, with both the EU and far right pa rties offering interpretations. Given that much of the far right in Europe is typically opposed to the European Union as a supranational entity , one could reason ably expect that there would exist an opposi tion to the notion of a substantive transnational E uropean identity. This paper will argue that the far right may be accepting certain aspects of a transnational European identity, while narrowly tailoring it to provide an alternative to the cosmopoli tan identity expressed in the foundation of the EU and d iscourse of EU political elites . Characteristics of the far right

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3 interpretation include appeal s to the superiority of European culture and the perceived form the basis nationa list identity. Significa nt increases in migration and the perceived threat of terrorism exacerbated by the refugee crisis have presented an opportunity for the far right to define Europea n identity in relation . While nationalist elements continue to be prominent in the discourse s of the far right, which emphasize sovereignty and domestic cultural integrity, there has been an increased inclusion of transnational elements, which emphasize connection to Christianit /Western This interpretation is a direct challenge to the founding principles and cosmopolitan policy aims o f the EU, which informs EU interpretation of a multicultural European iden tity. By co nducting both political/historical analyses and an analysis on key discourses emanating from the EU and far right party leadership, specifically in regard to Muslim migration and integration, we can view how the discussion emanating from the far right may be taking place in regard to a transnational European identity. Definitional Framework Far Right can encompass a spectrum of ideological stances that are to the right of the mainstream with some significant differences arising between parties. For the purposes of this paper, the theories of Kitschelt (1995), Ignazi (1996), and Mudde (2007) will be utilized. In particular, the term Radical Right Parties (RRPs) offered by Kitschelt (1995) 1 . These 1 to emerge, namely when moderate parties converge toward the median voter and there is a gap to fill on the far -

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4 theories draw a distinction between the far right fascist parties that dominated European politics prior to the end of WWII and new populist far right parties that emerged in the early 1980s (Kitschelt 1995). An important note to ma ke is the difference between parties and extreme far right parties. Mudde (2007) summarizes this difference as simply that the populist radical right does not threaten the free democratic order, whereas the extreme far right does. 2 While the extreme far right has garnered electoral gains as well, the nature of th ese parties limits the degree to which they cooperate with other p arties, as the extreme right is often accused of using violence to achieve the ir goals (Mudde 2007) . While this approach does not allow for an in depth look at any particular far right right is discussing identity more generally. Cosmopolitanism Cosmopolitanism in the broadest sense is the belief that all humans belong to a single community, one that supersedes any other identity, such as ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. (Kant [1795] 2015). The literature emphasizes that cosmopolitanism is often referred to in the plural cosmopolitanisms, given that there are numerous interpretations among scholars (Rumford 2007). 3 It is argued that the process of European integration is indeed at least right. Political and societal development s in Western European society since the end of WWII have made support for the far ies emerge and succeed electorally. 2 See Mudde (2007) for a detailed description of different variations of populist parties, namely right wing populists, neoliberal populists, and social populists. Furthermore, the differences between populist, protest, right wing extremist, and fascist parties are explained (41 59). 3 Cosmopolitanism, as a philosophical idea, is concerned with the global community of humans. European cosmopolitanism appropriates many principles of cosmopolitanism and applies them at a European level, and informs part of Europeanism. Europeanism describ es the values and norms that Europeans share regardless of borders or national identity and is a significant component of European integration. European

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5 partially informed by principles of cosmopolitanism (Beck & G rande 2007; European Commission 2012). Jones (2007) does mention that the EU does not constitute a truly between the broader cosmopolitan theory established by Kant ([1795] 2015), as well as others, and what is occurring with the process of European integration, this research will not be working from a specific definition. Rat her, this research posits that the EU operates partially from a broader cosmopolitan framework, as seen in the discourse from political elites and founding principles, while not embodying the cosmopolitan utopia envisioned by Kant ([1795] 2015 ) The influen ce of cosmopolitanism in the founding principles of the EU and the construction of a European transnational identity will be explored throughout the paper as well. European Cosmopolitan Identity This research will work from the premise that the concept of a t ransnational European identity has emerged and has been accepted by European elites. This identity has its roots in the cosmopolitan philosophical foundations of the EU, which will be discussed later, and is an active policy aim of the EU (European Com mission 2012). Checkel and Katzenstein national markets in the wake o f the Single European Act of 1987 and the process of market (12). While European cosmopolitanism does not conform completely to the broader theory posited by Kant ([1795] 2015), the historical evolution of cosmopolitanism therefore informs many of these norms and values that Europeans share and is one of sev eral components that make up Europe and European identity.

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6 the cosmopolitan ideal is important in understanding some of the EU philosophical foundations. The European co smopolitan identity is intimately tied with citizenship, processes of globalization , and the cosmopolitan interpretation is most supported by social and political elites (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009, 12 ; Fligstein 2009 ) . Competing conceptions of European identity can be examined from within a cosmopolitan/populist dichotomy, with European elites presenting the cosmopolitan interpretation, while the far right has developed an identity that represents populist elements within European society. For simp licity sake, European cosmopolitan identity refers to the European identity construction that is a key policy aim of the EU and the identity interpretation that is professed by European elite. This identity is multicul tural and grounded in the principle of a com mon humanity among Europeans , which is in contrast to the populist identity that is grounded in cultural and ethnic divisions (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009, 12). Transnational Nationalism Transnationalism refers to multiple ties and interactions linking peop le and institutions across the borders of nation states (Vertovec 1999). The degree of interconnectivity within Europe, including the sharing of ideas, has grown with European integration and this likewise applies to far right parties. The term transnation al nationalism will be used to describe the alternate conception of a common European identity potentially being presented by the far right. This is not to say that there is a mutually agreed upon definition among far right parties, but that multiple parti es are potentially presenting similar alternatives to the cosmopolitan interpretation. The transnational nationalist identity builds upon the process of European identity construction that has occurred with European integration, only being narrowly tailore d to align with traditional far right ideology. The

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7 result is a transnational European identity, accepted by the far right, which incorporates insular and xenophobic components largely found in nationalist politics (Kitschelt 1995; Mudde 2007). Evidence wi ll be provided to justify the premise that EU political elites actively endorse a cosmopolitan transnational European identity and that the far right has built upon and altered that identity to incorporate nationalist ideology. Methodology This research will utilize both political/historica l and discursive analysis of how European identity has developed and how both EU elites and the far right interpret that identity. The political/historical analysis will serve to provide necessary context to the discour se that will be analyzed. Discourse of both European and far right political elites will be analyzed in order to capture the discussion that is occurring regarding a common European identity. Two aspects of a given statement will be of particular importanc e, namely the language used by the speaker and the context in which they are speaking. The language tion exchange, but primarily what language is used when discussing broade r European society, which includes language that focuses on similarities or differences among groups of people. It is expected that EU elites will focus more on what binds Europeans together as well as shared values, whereas the far right elites will focus on the differences between people. These discourses will be analyzed within a broader narrative of European identity that is informed by the literature and recent events . Recent events, ideology, and audience are all factors that can change the

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8 interpreta tion of a particular segment of a speech and thus context will be a significant focus of this research during the analysis. eaking/listening and often, too, distinct daily life as individuals and as members of a soci al group. We can adopt a number of identity roles and how individuals i dentify within society influence s the discourse they use in a variety of ways. Gee (2011) describes primary discourse that we acquire, which is intimately units, as b discourse are describes as secondary discourses : ired within institutions that are part and parcel of wider communities, whether these be religious groups, community Both primary and secondary discourses are important in regard to iden tity construction, particularly in how social groups incorporate ideas and values into their socialization. This is seen in how both EU and far right elites use specific language that reinforces their particular interpretation of European identity. Deconst ructing what is meant by specific words in a given speech is central to an understanding of what ideas, values, and characteristics inform existing scholarly research and theory will be utilized along with the analysis, which potentially provides a greater understanding of the context that underlines a given discourse.

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9 Overview of the European Union and Recent Far Right Electoral Successes The two World Wars left the European continent devastated and led to a profound shift in the international order. European states faced the urgent task of rebuilding and attempting to prevent war on the continent in the future. Cooperation was first concentra ted along economic lines, followed by the political, and arguably now, the cultural. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established in 1952 and formed the foundations of post war European cooperation and paved the way for peaceful coexistence (European Union 2016 a). The ECSC was followed by the European Economic Community (EEC), which created the common /single market via the Treaty of Rome in 1957 (European Union 2016 a ). go ods, services, people, and money and these represent one of the cornerstones of the European project (European Policy Centre 2016). Economic and political cooperation in the EEC continued and membership steadily expanded past the six founding members throu ghout the latter half of the 20 th century . With the entry into force in 1993 of the Maastricht Treat y , th e EU was created and political, economic, social, and legal integration expanded significantly (European Union 2016 a ). The EU is a relatively new social community bringing together different identities under a common vision, and the question of what a European identity potentially looks like or will look like is an intriguing area of research. Today the EU has 28 member s tates and has evolved significantly, from economic cooperation between the six foun ding states , into a quasi supranational entity that today has over 500 million inhabitants (European Union 2016b) . It is often professed by European leaders that one of the (Solemn Declaration on European Union 1983) .

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10 While there is no explicitly stated goal of a cosmopo litan society by European policy makers , mu ch of EU rhetoric aligns with what can be con sidered within a cosmopolitan framework (Rumford 2007) . 4 This is visible in the stated aims of the EU and the unique role the union has played in the international arena, including strong support of legal instruments governing international human rights (E uropean Union 2016d; Giubernau 2011). It has been argued that the EU has developed its own distinct European cosmopolitanism, apart from a more broad philosophical int erpretation, that influences its direction and the aims of the union (Beck & Grande 2007; Robertson & Krossa 2012). 5 Europ ean cosmopolitanism has been strengthened by the exchange of pe ople, ideas, and capital and by the diminished significance of national borders between member states. The epitome of this process was the implementation of the Schengen agreement in 1985, which eliminated all internal passport and border controls within the EU (European Union 2016 c ). Furthermore, the distinctions between national or ethnic identity have become more blurred, as people living within the EU often c onsider themselves European alongside their national identities ( Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2012 ; Striessnig & Lutz 2016 ) . According to the 2015 Standard Eurobarometer, n absolute majority of Europeans d efine themselves first by their nationality and then as Europeans The construction of European 4 Rumford (2007) points out that that European elites typically do not describe the EU as a ean want to encourage citizens to view themselves in a more global cosmopolitan identity, as is what officials to describe Europe, the literature offers significant evidence that the EU is informed by cosmopolitan 5 See Beck & Grande (20 Beck & Grande (2007) argue that there needs to be a new political vision and concept for political integration that requires a

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11 cosmopolitan identity does not require a preference for either a national or European identity, with the two identities often overlapping. The European project has had and continues to have detractors, who often express concerns ab out overreaching aims of the EU in relation to state sovereignty as well as the impact on national and ethnic culture. Opposition to the EU is most prominently see n on the far ri ght, although not exclusively. Recent years have seen the European far right gain seats in national and EU parliaments and assert themselves as a v iable political force, which is a significant shift given that these parties have largely exis ted within the fringes of post war European society (Fieschi 2000; Halikiopoulou & Vasilopoulou 2014) . F ar right ideology is often a t odds with cosmopolitanism , hence far right parties in Europe typically oppose much of the European project and its underly ing aims of an ever closer union (Fieschi 2000; Petsinis 2015). Furthermore, the variance in ideology between the far right and cosmopolitan proponents of the European pr oject and the electo ral success achieved by the far right could potentially be viewed as an existential threat to the EU. This arguably has already started occurring , the most notable example being the Brexit vote earlier this year , which was partially precipitated by far right populist sentiments (Wheeler & Hunt 2016). The vote to leave the EU by one of the strongest member states has been seen as a hard hit to both the union and European cosmopolitanism. There has also been increased cooperation among far right parties across Europe, both politically and i deologicall y, which presents further challenges to the traditional postwar political structure . T ransnational cooperation among far right parties is often overlooked in th e literature due to the nature of nationalist party politics and the lack of success they have had when cooperation has been attempted (Fieschi 2000; Startin 2010) . These parties tend to

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12 be nationalistic, xenophobic, and insular, making cooperation outside of their respective states difficult (Fieschi 2000; Ignazi 1996; Kitschelt 1995; Mud de 2007; Startin 2010) . That being said, w ithin the Eur opean far right there is also an atmosphere of solidarity taking place and creating opportunities for nationalist parties to cooperate amongst each other (Macklin 2013). Wi thin the European Parliament , far right parties have established a coalition, the Europe of Nations and Freed expressed aim is to dismantle the EU by opposing and removing the supranational powers that the EU possesses , ironically while taking millions of Euro s in funding given to coalitions that meet certain requirements (Willsher 2016). Whether this coalition will manage to overcome the difficulties previous attempts at political unity by the far right have encountered remains to be seen. At the heart of the political divide between EU cosmopolitans and the newly reinvigorated populist far of the EU in the early 1990s, the question of what European integration means for individual and collecti ve identity among its citizens has been important. Identity politics plays a significant role in the degree of social cohesion within Europe, as well as is an integral part of both EU and domestic politics (European Commission 2012). The construction s of s oc ial and political identities is hotly debated within the context of what person people into European society, most recently Muslims, and how much t hey are expected to assimilate into their adopted societies. The perceived lack of success in integrating Muslim immigrants into society has been a popular talking point of the far right, with frequent to, often with little evidence that this is

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13 actually the case (Wemple 2015). 6 As the far right increases its political presence, the question of whether one can have a Muslim identity within a broader European identity may impact social cohesion. The clash between the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity and the far right one is being fought across numerous arenas and has ramifications for how the EU will continue to develop. The cosmopolitan interpretation outlines a multicultural diverse socie ty bound by legal principles espousing both social and political equality, whereas the populist interpretation focuses on ethnic and cultural distinctions (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009). This clash is evident in the enactment of domestic legislation that fun damentally is at odds with the legal and philosophical foundations of the EU and that can lead to tensions between different groups of people. As the EU views European identity as being tied intrinsically to citizenship, any legislation that is viewed as t argeting a particular group of people could be seen as challenging that interpretation of identity. Legislation that curbs the rights of people to openly practice their faith has been introduced with more frequency and this hits at the heart of how Europea ns can and should express their identity in public spaces. Proposed prohibitions on religious garb and the building of mosques are one o f the most common ways in which the far right addresses the question of Islam in Europe, limiting multiculturalism. In o ther words, Muslims can come to Europe, but only if they abandon their cultural identity. 6 ious topic. The claim is that there are cities in Europe that authorities have essentially abandoned due to a loss of control over the number of migrants (Graham 2015). It is further claimed that Sharia law has been implemented and has supplanted state law through Islamic law, but these do not supplant the authority of the state, nor is there any evidence to suggest that authorities have ceded contr ol of any parts of Europe (Graham 2015). go evidence, Hung arian officials provided citations primarily from blogs and conspiracy websites to corroborate the claims (Nolan 2016). Furthermore, the US news agency Fox News was forced to issue a correction and apology for reporting that parts of Birmingham in the UK w ere outside of government control (Graham 2015).

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14 As Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, recently stated concerning Muslims in (Faiola 2016). The way questions of social and political identities are framed and answered is intrinsically tied to the underlying question of how European identity is constructed, with proponents of both cosmopolitan and populist far right interp retations proposing their own narratives. Checkel and Katzenstein (2009) note that the question of a European identity is no longer just an academic one, but has become something that is deeply polarized along political lines. The speed at which European i ntegration is occurring, along with the refugee crisis , has exacerbated the politicization of European identity, with cosmopolitan and populist conceptions competing for control of the narrative (Checkel & Katzenstein 2009). The line that has been drawn is one between a multiplicity of identities within a European one and a more narrow definition of European identity. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister and far right politician, stated belief that runs counter to the cosmopolitan interpretation (Mackey 2015). Populist arguments on the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism provide the far right the far inc ompatibility of Islam with European ideals (Yilmaz 2012). EU have strengthened the efficacy of populist appeals and arguments by the far right, there has been a shift of more mainstream pa rties and their stance on Islam and s ecurity (Economist 2014). In 2012, the Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party in France led by former Fren ch President Nicolas Sarkozy sought to appeal to supporters of the far right by pledging to adopt tougher policies on immigration and security (Flynn & Le Guernigou

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15 2012). 7 The degree of politicization regarding identity has implications that reverberate in lives, with new debates taking place concerning the fu ture of the EU. 7 currently is the President of the party and standing in the race for the French Presidency.

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16 CHAPTER II POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN IDENTITY European Identity European identity is an intriguing area of study as well as an important area of EU policy and the cosmopolitan foundation of the EU makes identity politics an important question for EU policy makers and social scientists alike. The topic is a key area of interest and frequent reports detailing the process (European C ommission 2012) . A 2012 policy review on European identity looked at research projects under the Socio Economic Sciences and Humanities Programme (European Commission 2012). These projects were in place to h the European Union and [how] its integration project take[s] shape and evolve[s] over time, and on how to reinforce solidarity in the policy review was cosmopolitani contact with other cultures and hence coincide[ing] with perceived European values of 8 The European Commission is es of identity formation and identification with(in) Europe do or do not iden tify with a transnational European identity is integral to EC efforts to adopt 8 The term cosmopolita nism is used in the European commission report on European identity, which contrasts European officials not using explicitly in the discourse. This serves to reinforce the notion found in the literature that European identity in informed by cosmopolitan pr inciples.

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17 Commission 2012). Emphasis by the EC in advocating for policies that inform a European co smopolitan identity , as seen in the report on European identity, coupled with EU founding and subsequent documents demonstrates this identity construction is an active goal of the EU. While there is an interest among EU political elites concerning identity as a policy aim, identity is a complex construct that cannot be dictated by policy alone. The development that is occurring in stages. Castiglione (2009) examines political community, [whereas th e historical is] bound up with historical contingencies and with the way in which competing narratives and ideologies shape the self perceptions of the construction in regard to identity illustrate some of the complexities involved with identity construction. This is especially true in regard to identity construction within a supranational entity that is comprised of a number of states that have profoundly negative histo ries between each other. So, while the institutional framework of the union might promote identifying as part of the broader European community (i.e. cross border living, transnational intimate relationship s , etc.), there is a historical construction of i d entity that also plays a role. The prime historical experience that has come to define a common European identity is WWII and the fo rmation of the EU partially was a result of the reflections within European society following the war. Historical construction of European identity evolves from common historical experiences that can influence the narrati ve of a common identity. F or example , the

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18 place of prominent architect of the European project in the narrative of European integration, which will b e examined later in this section. While there has been research on both the political and historical construction of European identity, the former is featured more prominently in the literature. Political identity has been identified as being particularly important in regard to the construction of European identity (Castiglione 2009; Holmes 2009; Medrano 2009). The EU places a significant emphasis on European citizenship, as well as the rights and responsibilities that come with it, as being central to the cosmopolitan identity. Holmes (2009) distinguishes between the development of European political identity pre and post Maastricht and outlines how European political identity has evolved. Holmes (2009) begins by looking at the Treaty of Versailles and how self culture and history of a particular group, while dividing people politically based on r ace and cultural ties, partially influenced fascist ideology with it being refined to fit into the narrative of superiority espoused by these parties (Holm es 2009). Following the devastation of WWII , cooperation increased and the processes of integration b egan to occur, but the historical European identity. Holmes (2009) concludes that following Maastricht, the political identity foundations have strengthened, but the re is still significant push back from groups such as the far right in opposing a transnational European identity. Another manner in which the EU fosters identity construction is the dissemination of myths that inform European identity , and EU elite have u tilized significant persons and events as a way to play an active role in the process es of identity construction . One of the

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19 process of integration and cooperation between early EU member states ( Kølvraa 2012 ) . Specifically, Jean Monnet holds a special position among these political leaders, both in terms of the political contributions he made and his role in European identity f European institutions engage in narrating the history of European integration and in EU myths often take relate to the development of a tr ansnational European identity. This is significant in relation the European project. Numerous actions taken by the EC in the 1980s can potentially be viewed as narrative of a common European identity. There were numerous public buildings and other infrastr ucture that was named for the politician and discourse at the time sought to use this as museum following his death and the central theme of the museum was to reinforce M joint efforts of our two ( Kølvraa 2012 , 753) . This statement speaks to the effort by EU political elites in developing the idea of a common t played into this process. Another example

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20 the naming of the tunnel linking France and Great Britain, the first proposed name was the Europe Tunnel European political identity is something that is partially constructed through the political space that people occupy , such as citizenship, and is somewhat more easily identifiably than a historical identity. T he developme nt of a historical identity with which Euro peans identify collectively is a much more complex issue , as it entails not only piecing together a common history, but that interpretation competing with nat ional and ethnic histories. Being a citizen of Europe and holding a European passport is a more tangible symbol of identity and appears to be a more effective method of instilling a sense of European identity. That being said, as the literature has indicat ed, there are significant attempts to develop a European identity that goes beyond political status and that is where T here is generally consensus among EU elites an d the far right in regard to political status and the identity that conforms to one holding a European passport, but the divergence emerges when discussing a more substantive European identity. Aside from the active participation by EU elites in European identity construction , is the shift in how European s identify that occurs throughout the integration process. Theorists of European integration often posit that increased economic and political integration would lead to a common European identity (Fligstei n, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012). This idea was formulated into the theory of Ernst Haas (1961) on regional integration, in which he posits

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21 thus more integration. Wh ile this identity has not displaced national or ethnic identities, we will see there is a significant amount of evidence that a European identity exists , to varying degrees, alongside both the national and ethnic identities (European Commission 2012; Eurobarometer 2015; Fligstein, Polyakova, & Sandholtz 2012). Fligstein, Polyakova, & Eur opean (Fligstein, Polyakova, & s meant that a to people, ideas, and culture outside of their own (Fligstein, Polyakova, & San d holtz 2012). While Europeans have always been exposed to each othe r, the European project has added the component of a common citizenship, which has shaped how Europeans identify (Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2015). European integration is an evolving process and therefor e it is expected that the construction of identity will also develop depending on how that integration proceeds. Cosmopolitanism and the European Union Cosmopolitanism is a fluid concept that is difficult to attach a specific definition to, but one definition from the literature is that it is being concerned with the relationship view themselves is paramount to how they interact in their communities and with each other, making identity constructs significant within a political context. There is increased scholarly interest in the EU as a cosmopolitan entity, both in how European states coexist and function as well as the EU as a global leader. In practice , the EU takes on a unique cosmopolitanism that may be v iewed within a context that is wholly European (Beck & Grande 2007; Robertson & Krossa 2012). Citizens of the EU are increasingly view ing themselves in terms

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22 of a national identity as well as a European one , which fits the European cosmopolitan framework ( Eurobarometer 2015; European Commission 2012). It is significant to note that very few Europeans consider them selves to be only European, but the number of people who identify as both their ethnic/national identity and a European one is significant (Euroba rometer 2015). framework. While identity construction is complex and it is not agreed upon what the transnational European identity look s like in its entirety, it can be argued that there are clear elements of cosmopolitanism in its formation. This being the case, it is important to identify what principles of cosmopolitanism are present in European identity construction and therefore Kant 2015) work writing on cosmopolitan society will instrumental in demonstrating the cosmopolitan framework of the EU. The historical foundations of cosmopolitanism are relevant to this research as it will provide historical background, as well as provide context for the political analysis. Cosmopolitanism has its roots in ancient Greece, when Diogenes of Sinope famously responded, when asked where he was from, that h Delanty 2007, 20) . This perspective was radi cal in Greece at the time, given the importance placed on citizenship and its relationship to the city state (Boon & Delanty 2007). This concept was developed furt her by the Stoics, who professed that each person inhabited two further emphasized that there is a dual allegiance that every person has within them and tha t the greater of the two is the allegiance owed to t

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23 cannot identify with a specific group, but that everyone is first h eld morally accountable to his/her first duty, w hich is to humanity as a whole (Boon & Delanty 2007; Held 2005). The ancient foundations of cosmopolitan theory are visible and play an integral part of post war European political development and the interaction of the EU in the international arena. There are a variety of characteristics of cosmopolitanism that the EU incorporates , both within its borders and internationally, and European identity is integral to this framework. Cosmopolitan principles are observed by the EU in regard to their work on international human rights and often seen within the rhetoric of European elites. An example Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, who was quoted in the German daily Bild that should be shared among member states (Gotev 2015). It is interesting position also speaks to the right of respect of dignity for migrants arriving in Europe for economic reasons, not only those fleeing conflict (Gotev 2015). By including those who are not cit , at least in its rhetoric, adheres to a principle of basic human rights for everyone. Human rights based appeals and policies form part of the foundation of the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity , along with an appeal of solidarity among member states. W hile political realities often make it difficult for t he EU to function as a cosmopolitan reality, the aim consistently is targeted in that direction. It is necessary to provide historical context of cosmopolitanism and examine how these principles have in fluenced the structure and aims of the EU, which in turn influences the construction of European identity. European cooperation following WWII served two

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24 significant purposes, namely helping to rebuild and preventing future wars between European states. Th e goal of preventing wars between states builds upon the work of Kant ([1795] 2015), who was instrumental in refining Emmanuel Kant ([1795] 2015) ciple of cosmopolitanism that provides a framework for peace. This framework can be viewed as two separate parts, namely, how a person should interact with their fellow humans and what steps states should take in order to prevent war. Kant ([1795] 2015) ou tlines a moral the common possession of the surface of the earth, to no part of which anyone had originally . Universal hospitality dictates how people should interact with one another and emphasizes the common humanity that everyone shares. Kant ([1795] 2015) further formulated a c oneself and be heard within and acr cosmopolitan right entitles any person to operate as a world citizen wherever they might be, prov ided they act lawfully , and that they will be treated in a hospitable manner. 9 universal hospitality nternally welcoming attitude toward refugees from the Middle East and Africa ( BBC 2016 a ; European Union 20 16 d ). 9

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25 hospitality (Kant [1795] 2015). This is most evident in the capacity for Europ ean citizens to receive benefits and maintain political and civil rights across the EU, regardless of where one was born. This principle is also one of the most contentious disputes between European cosmopolitans and the far right. The implementation of th e Schengen Agreement saw to the weakening of national border s, which has resulted in the exchange of ideas, people, and products. Cross border exchange of people has led to changes that can influence whether someone identifies as European or not. An exampl a person from another European state (European Commission 2012). These types of situations increase the chances of a person identifying with being European and are key components in identity construction in the EU (European Commission 2012). A 2015 Eurobarometer survey showed that there is a significant disparity in the degree in which people identify as European across EU states, but the majority of these states saw over 50% of people identifying as both European and as their nationality (European Commission 2015). The Schengen Zone has informed the construction of a European identity and is perhaps the policy that most epitomizes the Kantian cosmopolitan ideal . Contemporary cosmopolitan scholars elucidate eight primar y principles of cosmopolitanism: accountability; consent; collective decision making ab out public matters through voting (Held 2005, pg. 12). Held (2005) indicates that these principles should not be viewed as a guideline for cosmopolitan theory, as th ere are a number of interpretive standpoints in the

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26 democratic This is significant as there is no specific criteria for a cosmopolitan society, and implies that there can be differences in interpretation as long as Concepts of global justice are also an important component in cosmopolitan theory and play important roles in EU legal instruments and philosophical f oundations. Nussbaum (2005) discusses John Rawls Theory of Justice (1971) in which he list of transnational human rights put forth by Rawls is a short one, but they constituted an of the idea of international human rights led to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which in turn has informed many of the legal and political principles of the EU (United Nations 1948). Establishing w here European cosmopolitanism exists within the historical and political contexts will aid in framing the discourse analyzed later in this research. The philosophical foundations and the institutional framework of the EU lend themselves to these eight prin ciples of cosmopolitanism and the spirit of the UDHR in a number of ways. A prime example is the EU being the leading donor in humanitarian aid globally (European Union 2016e). This is enshrined in the Tr eaty of Lisbon, which states a to help people in distress, whatever their nationality, religion, gender or ethnic origin Union 2016e). The EU has also been active in the dr afting of numerous human rights instruments as well as maintaining strong legal protections within its borders. Examples of supplements to international human rights law are the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 , the European Social Charter of 1961 (revised 1996) and the Framework Convention for the Protect ion of Natural Minorities of 1995 (Council of Euro pe 2015). While

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27 it cannot be claimed that this alone is enough to say that the EU is a cosmopolitan entity, treaties that incorporate principles of human rights and cosmopolitanism do strengthen this argument . Far Right Political Parties The European r , partially due to the legacy left by fascism during the 20 th century and partially due to ideological variance among parties. Following WWII, European states embarked on the task of understand ing and coming to terms with the ideological foundations that precipitated the two World Wars and the Holocaust. Nationalist and xenophobic ideologies underlined many of the policies seen in European states leading up to the wa r, the extreme being those of the Third Reich and its allies . Far right parties hold a plurality of views, some of which do espouse neo Nazi and fascist ideologies, but there is a recent tendency for parties on the far right to try and appear more mainstream (Portelinha & Elcheroth 20 16). Mainstreaming by far right parties has contributed partially to the successes they have seen in recent years and garnered support from a broader array of people who may be turned off by more radical rhetoric. A prime example of this process is how Mar ine Le Pen has shifted the French National Front from the anti Semitic origins present from its founding by her father Jean Marie Le Pen (McDonnell 2015) 10 . Three important aspects in right require examination, namely what does far right ideology look like , the role of Islam in the framing of the European far right parties are cooperating transnationally in a globalized world . 10 Jean Marie Le Pen recently was removed from his honorary position within the French NF and is currently engaged in a l egal battle with his daughter have his removal overturned (Gaschka 2016).

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28 Far Right Politics The e and opposite political pole of the New Left that began ( Kitschelt 1995, 2). There is agreement in the literature on far right parties far right parties (Ignazi 1996; Kitschelt 1995; Mudde 2007) . salient demands [that] differ from those that prevailed in the Keynesian Welfare State of the post Worl Kitschelt 1995, 2). T is described as existing as a Kitschelt 1995, 2 Kitschelt 1995, 2). This political preference is seen more frequ ently from people who are in economic sectors that are the most vulnerable to the competitive nature of the international economy (Kitschelt 1995). Simply stated, the far right exhibits a more protectionist mindset, which works its way into political debat es concerning non economic topics, such as immigration. Potential motivations for far right support are important to note because intense politicization of issues of race and religion often result in emotional rather than rational arguments, as is occurrin g now in Europe. 11 The f ar right has not always been so opposed to the European project, with some parties showing support in the 1980s during earlier stages of integration (Mudde 2007) . 11 See Kitschelt (1995) for a more detailed analysis of far right political preferences and salient demands.

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29 Examples of these parties were the Dutch Centre Party (CP), the Germa n Republicans (REP), and even the French NF (Mudde 2007, 159). In 1985 , Jean Marie Le Pen called for: common immigration controls, a common antiterrorist policy, a common (as opposed to single) currency, and the establishment of an external European border under supranational control Shields, & Woods 1996, 240). This statement clearly contrasts from his later statements, as he is widely known for his anti EU sentiments. The motivations of far right parties in supporting Euro pean integration varied and the different ( Mudde 2007, 165). There was the common agreement that the EU should not become a supranational entity, but other than that each party had its own vision of what a united Europe should look like. These divisions further underline the difficulties that far right parties have seen in developing a common political agenda regarding the EU. Levels of support for the European project presented them selves among the European parties, the far right being no exception, from euro enthusiasts and euro pragmatists to euro rejects and euro sceptics (Mudde 2007). These four categories can be classified into two dimensions, diffuse and specific support: use support denotes agreement with the underlying ideas of European integration, i.e. an integrated market economy and pooled sovereignty. This entails the belief that the EU is a good reflection of the underlying ideas of European integration, or at least developing in the right direction. This separates the EU optimists from the EU This spectrum provides a framework from which far right support or opposition to European integration can be gauged throughout the 1980s. While the literature does not delve much into the far right in regard to European identity during the 1980s, there was likely variance

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30 among them in much the same manner that there w as variance in support for or opposition to European integration. F ar right support for European integration, in its varying levels, became essentially issue and its sal Mudde 2007, 159). The literature notes Maastricht as being a turning point for the far right, with almost all far right parties opposing the formation of the EU (Mudde 2007). Furthermore, the far right viewed the formation of the EU as emblematic of global trends of neoliberalism and socialism (Mudde 2007) . The far right saw the EU as an extension of globalization and incompatible with the nativist ideology to which they virtually all ascribe (Mudde 2007). Following Maastricht the divisions that ex isted between far right parties still existed, but the structure of the EU, particularly the European Parliament, made cooperation, if not ideal, necessary for the far right (Mudde 2007). This is due to the high threshold necessary to enter the European Pa rliament and the need for the far right parties that do pass it to forge alliances in order to have a relevant voice (Mudde 2007). Following Maastricht it would be reasonable to assume that the far right attempting to cooperate amongst themselves would be a likely scenario. Although t he far right has expanded its base and the number of votes it receives in Western Europe since the 1980s, generally this has not been significant enough to directly influence national politics until recently ( Bustikova & Kitsch elt 2009; Cole 2005). The far right has seen significant increases in the nu mber of seats in national parliaments they hold in the past several years and this trend has the poten tial to continue, with the economic and refugee crises often being posited as a key factor in their success (Delouis 2012; Fieschi 2000; Halikiopoulou &Vasilopoulou 2014; Halikiopoulou & Vlandas 2015). T he two often

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31 cited catalysts for their success are a weakened economy and the arrival of significant number s of Muslim refugees and asylum seekers (Hafez 2014; Halikiopoulou & Vlandas 2015). The first catalyst provides a feeling of marginalization and desperation among EU citizens, the second one gives a place to focus thei r frustrations. This confirms Bustikov a and right support is derived more from the economic and political preferences of its supporters rather than cultural or ethnic preferences. In other words, the far right has effectively used the economic and political c oncerns of the European public to advance their ideology concerning race and culture. 12 As the political strength of the far right has increased, so does of European identity. Islam and the European Far Right Working under the assumption that increased support of the far right is predicated on economic and political preferences , which are integral to their identity conceptions , the global economic crisis of 2008 and its contin ued impact presented a political opportunity for the far right. Furthermore, the refugee crisis , fueled by the Syrian civil war and general instability in the Middle E ast have put a further strain on the capacity of EU elites to convey stability to the European public. Discourse on the far right has linked the issues of the regardless of status and a special point is made in stating that a disproportionate number of the refugees coming into Europe are men, a statistic that is contradicted by the United 12 See Kitschelt (1995) and Bustikova & Kitschelt (2009) for a deeper anal ysis of far political preferences.

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32 Natio ns High Commissioner for Refuge e (UNHCR) (Robertson 2015, United Nations [1948] 2016). One result of issue linkage between the economy and the refu gee crises is that an overly simplified cause is presented to people that explains their economic situation. This narrative is predicated largely on exaggerated assumptions about migrants, misconstrued statistics, and xenophobic appeals. Countering far right arguments has been difficult for the EU to manage , as there is disconnect between what ordinary citizens a re experiencing and the political elite in Brussels, something that is more frequently acknowledged by EU elites. 13 The general political atmosphere along with what is known about the far right from the literature is useful in framing the differences in po sitions of EU elites and the far right. The far right has succeeded in making many public debates focus on Muslim migration, particularly in regard to security and the economy, and more broadly what criteria define who is European and who is not. This has manifested itself in a variety of polic ies and attitudes across Europe. F cosmopolitan openness to accept Syrian ved to be aimed at Muslim women. These vastly dif ferent policy approaches demonstrate competing interpretations of what constitutes a European identity, one multicultural and cosmopolitan, the other conditionally ti behaviors and norms. L ack of a unified message from the EU on the refugee crisis and the sh eer volume of people arriving to Europe from the Middle East and Africa have strengthened the far right 13 Examples of this include a statement by French President Francois Hollande following the Brexit ns. I Birnbaum 2016).

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33 narrative on the situa tion, which consists largely of the incompatibility of Islam with Europe (Amnesty In ternational 2012). Aside from the economic and cultural concerns expressed by the far right in relation to Islam, security has also become a focal point. Following several terror attacks perpetrated by Islamic extremists, far right discourse concerning Mu slim migration has portrayed Islam as being both a physical and cultural threat to Europe. In response to the terror attacks in Paris , Nigel Farage, the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), said that: "Every single one of those k illers believed they were doing what they were doing in the name of Islam . The thing I suppose that makes me angry about what happened in Paris is frankly the fact that it was so utterly and entirely predictable. It has reached a point where we have to admit to ourselves in Britain, in France, and much of the rest of Europe that mass immigration and multicultural divisi on has, for now, been a By painting the attacks as predictable, Farage reinforced the far right argument that there is something about Islam that makes it an incompatible within Europe and that Islam should be eyed with suspicion. Furthermore, when instances like this occur it is common for the far right to emphasis that they in mind. The efficacy of the far is not only because of current events, but can be traced to the pos continue s to hold within European society (Wintle 2016 ; Yilmaz 2012 ). The Muslim role of Turkish accession to the EU, and the threat of Islamic terrorism (Wintle 2016). Hi storical events, such as the Inquisition and the Crusades are emblematic of this historical contention

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34 between Islam and Europe (Wintle 2016). Attacks on Christians and Christian communities, by Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Africa further exac erbate the tension that is currently being experienced (Sherwood 2016). European values are frequently described interchangeably with Western ones and the far right often uses both when contrasting By fram ing Islam as incompatible with Eu ropean society, the implication is that Muslim s are fundamentally unable to be c onsidered European. D iscourse s that frame Islam as dangerous are not limited to the far right, but tend to share an affinity with their ideological positioning. 14 Cooperation am ong Far Right Parties The fa r right has begun to increase the level of tra nsnational cooperation among a number of parties, which has occurred alongside their electoral success . Within the European Parliament they have formed the ENF coalition, which has given them access to funding from the EU (Willsher 2016) . Previous attempts have been made by the far right to form coalitions and cooperate trans nationally, but for various reasons this has never really been successful (Startin 2010) . One attempt at this, the transnational coalition Identity, Tradition, and Sovereignty (ITS) in the European Parliament in 2007 , lasted less than one year. Often ethnic divisions and st ereotypes prevent a cooperative environment to exist between far right parties . For e xample, a respondent to a survey administered after the collapse of the ITS We had problems with the Romanians . . . they were really difficult people to work with. They were fighting amongst themselves the whole time and it was sometimes 14 With the success of the far right, more mainstream parties on both the left and the right are adopting a hardline on Islam and the position that Islam is incompatible with its extreme right past (McDonnell 2015).

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35 very tiring to work with them . Fieschi (2000) corroborates this difficulty for far right parties to cooperate as due to a primacy of nation alism within far right politics. The current ENF coalition is focused on commonalities within broad political topics , such as limiting immigration and opposing furt her integration at the EU level. The ENF charter presents a framework of five principles that members adh ere to; democracy, sovereignty, identity, specif icity, and freedom. Parties in the ENF, in regard to identity, agree base their political alliance on the preservation of the identity of the citizens and nations of Europe, in accordance with the specific characteristics of each population. The right to control and regulate immigration is thus a fundamental principle shared by the Members of the ENF Group (Europe of Nations and Freedoms 2016) . f European nations in the sa me section of their charter (Europe of Nations and Freedoms 2016). This principle speaks intimately to how the far right conceptualizes identity and while there is not explicit denial of a transnational European identity, it is clear from the phrasing in the charter that it is not an accepted position that one exists. 15 immigration speaks clearly to the far right opposition to multi culturalism and the position that native identity is thr eatened by a multicultural society. This principle from the charter will be significant to compare with the discourse emanating from the far right in order to see if there is consistency between the two. 15 The ENF charter contains positions that align with what the literature tells us about far right political ideology and policy positions. This is important when analyzing the discourse on European identity to examine whether the stated positions of the far right match what is stated by its leadership.

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36 CHAPTER III TRANSNATIONAL NATIONALIST IDENTITY AND DISCOURSE Introduction The refugee crisis, the threat of Islamic extremism, and Muslim integration has propelled the far right electorally and helped to fostered transnational cooperation within the European Parliament. This cooperation has been shown to pres ent aims and principles that align with what is traditionally a far right position on national identity. The far right is a strong proponent for the primacy of national identity and national culture, which is evident from the stated position of the ENF and what the literature tells us about far right parties more broadly. Discourses of far right elites can be valuable in identifying stances on European identity and whether they align with traditional far right positions. Identity construction is a compl ex process and typically a simple black and white answer does not provide a complete picture. An analysis of discourse emanating from the EU and the far right can potentially show what an alternative presented by the far right might look like and whether t It is posited by this research that the discourse will show that there is an accepted cosmopolitan identity, that the far right is presenting an alternative that builds upon already constructe d European identity, and that the recent refugee crisis has played a significant role in the discourse of the far right. Discourse Analysis Language European Union Leadership This research seeks to determine how the far right identity interpretation contrasts and provides an alternative to the cosmopolitan one. Given that the cosmopolitan

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37 interpretation, as indicated by Checkel and Katzenstein (2009), is largely a product of European elites, it is relevant to use the discourse of European political el ites to present that identity. Discourse will be analyzed from both EU officials along with relevant government Chancellor Angela Merkel . The discourse analysis will serve three purposes, to illu strate how the cosmopolitan identity presents itself in language used by the proponents of a transnational European identity , to examine how the language used by EU elites in regard to the refugee crisis fits into a cosmopolitan framework , and positions on the future of European integration given the significance of the Brexit vote. Cosmopolitan Identity Construction E uropean identity construction has been shown to be an important aim of the EU and officials have express ed that lasting political unity is predicated on the forging of a common identity (European Commission 2012) . It is often a touchy subject to be broached , given a perceived disconnect between ordinary citizens and Brussels, yet EU officials still highlight t he importance of developing a clear vision o f European identity (Mahony 2012). Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament, gave an unusually direct statement concerning the development of a transnational European identity: build a lasting union of solidarity we also need to invest in European identity. We need to understand history and not just as compilation of national 2012). This statement draws a clear line between the viability of the European project and fostering a common identity. The statement professes that a common history is central to the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity , with a focus on European hist ory being a n

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38 amalgamation of histories, not one of individual ones. The language used indicates European This statement furthermore underscores the purpose behind initiatives that have sought to highlight a common history and identity, such as the naming of public buildings and infrastructure discussed earlier. Discourse from EU elites points to an intent to foster a tra nsnational European identity th at is specifically cosmopolitan in nature . It is particularly important to mention that the acceptance of a transnational European identity does not mean that the national identity ceases to exist, but that citizens accept bo th. Leonard Orban, the former EC Commissioner for Multilingualism this statement : division. T he divisions are sometimes created by different stakeholders trying to (Debating Europe 2011). Orban speaks t o how linguistic differences do not in themselves inhibit a European identity, but are often used as a political tool by those who oppose the EU agenda on identity. T his statement indicates that there is an agenda aimed at foster ing a common identity emanating from EU elites . In fact , Orban later on in this interview states that: (Debating Europe 2011). The emphasis on diversity in union is indicative of th e role cosmopolitan principles play in the construction of European identity. There is a n acknowledgement of differences , but with an emphasis on these differences not being something that det racts from a person being

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39 considered a part of European society. Again, this interpretation of European identity is intimately tied with cosmopolitan principles and the foundations of the EU itself. Ultimately, the transnational cosmopolitan identity is predicated on values that tie Europeans together, rather than an ethnic or racial consideration. These values are indicative of a European cosmopolitanism that seeks to remove the traditional state borders and limitations for all EU citizens. Angela Merkel, speaking as a person born in communist East Germany, offers a u nique perspective into the importance of a common value system and identifying with a united Europe. Merkel remarked that: in a united Europe that we [Germans] will c Germans in particular, which itself does not delve deeply into a common identity , but an example of how an individual can identify a s European . Merkel continues by stating: just pop across to Western Europe. It was my dream for that to be possible. This is my continent a continent where people hol (Traynor 2012). Merkel transitioned from speaking as a German to a broader identity that aligns with the values of Western Europe. Furthermor e this statement revealed a personal perspective of what European values, and ultimately the European project, mean to someone from Eastern Europe. Because of the European project, a person born outside of Western Europe can claim those values as their own, as Merkel did when she re Merkel concludes by speaking as to what these values that European citizens share and identify with entail:

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40 things that will safeguar d the future of humanity human dignity, freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, the right to protest, sustainability in business and This final statement speaks intimately to the values that the European pr oject represents and to the cosmopolitan nature of those values. 2015) wrote on. more ardent defenders and her rhetoric expresses that notion of a dual identity, one ethnic and one European , as in practice . European Leadership Discourse Concerning the Refugee Crisis As mentioned previously, the refugee crisis, exacerbated a s a resul t of the continued Syrian civil war , has created a tense political standoff in the EU and partially precipitated the electoral gains seen by the far right. Given that there has been an intense political price paid in relation to the influx of refugees, it is important to examine discourse in relation to the refugee crisis to see if there is consistency throughout the crisis. The paramount example of an open refugee policy was when Angela Merkel and she stated: We are going to manage this if there are obstacles to overcome, then we will have to work to overcome them. We are re Tavani 2015). as not been universally accepted among European states, humanitarianism , has shown up consistently. Francois Hollande remarked, in response to France accepting more refugees and asylum seekers, that: nciple which France is bound by (Chu 2015).

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41 While Hollande is not speaking for al l of Europe as Merkel was previously, it is clear that he is referring to principles of humanitarianism found in both liberal democratic society as well as professed by the EU. Similarly Jean Claude Junker stated: was ] a matter of hum anity and human dignity. It is true that Europe cannot house all the misery in the world. But we have to put it into The language utilized in t hese perspectives on the necessity and responsibility to act in regard to the refug ee crisis align with the cosmopolitan principle of hospitality and with the human rights principles enshrined within the foundations of the EU. The refugee crisis presented a challenge to European politicians to abide by the values and principles that info rm the EU, and while this was not universal among EU political elite, there was a significant push to maintain the image of the EU being concerned with international human rights. While there was initial praise for the decision to accept significant numbe rs of refugees from the Middle East, the logistics and difficulties associated with the task soon became evident. Political pressure from the far right, as well as more moderate political elements, increased as the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers en tered the EU. Examining more recent discourse on the crisis can potentially show whether the commitment to cosmopolitan and humanitarian principles are consistent even when potentially unpopular. on (CDU) losses in regional stated: the whole German government for the situatio n that reached us unprepa red in late

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42 Merkel, while admitting that Germany (and Europe) had underestimated the challenges of an open door refugee policy, maintains that from a humanitarian and values perspective the decisio n was correct. She expresses regret for the lack of preparation, but not for the underlying principles that informed the German position. Policy did shift throughout the refugee crisis and a deal was struck with Turkey to try and manage the flow of refugee s (Copley 2016). Jean Claude Juncker while discussing the deal remarked on a border fence that was being constructed between Greece and Macedonia, he stated: "I don't share the view of some that this fence or building fences in Europe in general can co ntribute anything to the long term solution of the refugee crisis. Fences may prevent refugees fro m moving on, but no fence and no wall is high enough to deter these people from coming to Europe when they are fleeing war and v iolence in their home countrie s " (Copley 2016). telling in that it shows empathy with the plight of those fleeing war and violence. This statement is definitely toned down from those at earlier p oints during the crisis, but there is still adherence to EU foundations of human dignity and openness. The difficulties of the situation certainly changed political perspectives on how to tackle the crisis, but among proponents of the European project, the will to espouse principles of humanitarianism remained. European Leadership Discourse Post Post us a glimpse at a couple of things, namely whether there is still a strong commitment to the and i ts relationship to Europe following the referendum. Following the referendum in the UK that resulted in decision to leave the EU, there are now

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43 continued European unity and European identity. A statement made b y Angela Merkel following the vote speaks to the challenges moving forward: "We take note of the British people's decision with regret. There is no doubt that this is a blow to Europe and to t b ). Merkel contin ued in regard to the future: "[Germany has] a particular interest and a particular responsibility to make European unity a success b ) . Merkel mentions an interest in making sure European unity is a success, and as seen in other statements on European identity, unity is often tied intrinsically with the construction of a European identity . of commitment to the process of identity creation that is one of the foundations of European unity. This mixture of regret and renewed forti tude for the project followed the vote , as well as speaking toward reevaluating the European project. Examining discourse related to reevaluating the European project and European identity could show whether this reevaluation will also consist of a shift of thinking on identity. The Portuguese Pre sident "We have to serenely respect the decision of the majority of the British people, in the certainty that the European project remains valid to defend the values that mark our common id b ). Rebelo de Sousa speaks to values contained in the European project that inform a common identity. We can extrapolate that these values are those that inform European institutions, foundational philosophy, and the rhetoric emanatin g from proponents of a common European identity. In a post

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44 values and conveying a message to the world. What method is there for achieving this? The one which Jacques Delors proposed during his first term as leader of the European Commission: a shared goal, a timescale an d a programme of measures. Claude Juncker adopted in his speech to the European Parliament, and France wholeheartedly supports this approach ( Hollande 2016 ) . discussions, Hollande spoke passionately about the European project, describing what is at stake in the process of the UK leaving the EU: For all these reasons, France in conjunction with our partners, and letting the Commission do the job of negotiatin g, of course is going to defend an idea of Europe is about borders, protection protecti on of a model, a culture and values ( Hollande 2016) Hollande notes that the European proj ect is not only an economic or political union, Europe Far Right Party Leadership Far Right Party Leadership on the European Union These positions contrast starkly with discourse of the fa r right and o ne of the most discussed topics by the far right is the EU and how its existence is a threat to national sovereignty. Statements and speeches of far r ight leaders when discussing the EU, without any reference to Islam or Muslim migration , tend to align with what is typically expected of the far right. National sovereignty, opposition to mul ticulturalism, and the importance of

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45 national identity are prominent themes that emerge in this discourse. Heinz Christian Strache , of t Party (FPO ) recently commented on the Brexit vote and said e want a Europe of fatherlands (Al Arabiya 2016). Strache statement drew att ention to two things, namely opposition to multic ulturalism, for w hich the United States is often referenced synonymously with, and that the FPO views European identity within the context of separate nation states. Another example of clear opposition of the EU and the importance of national identities is in an opinion piece that Marine Le Pen of the French National Front penned in the New York Times: eople, and that a Polish member of the European Parliament has the legitimacy to make law for the Spanish. We have tried to deny the Le Pen 2016). This is a strong denial of the presence of a common European identity, at least in terms of ethnicity, and also a strong defense of state sovereignty. These statements are indicative of the aims that the ENF and individual f ar rig ht parties have professed that are consistent with traditional far right ideological stances. The anti EU stance , and subsequent opposition to a transnational European identity, can be assumed by language used by the far right in conjunction with the literature on far right ideolog y and parties, as well as the stated aim of the ENF in the European Parliament.

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46 Far Right Party Leadership on Islam and Europe When Islam or Muslim mi gration/integration is the focus of the speaker , certain s peeches by far right leaders elude to the notion of a transnational European identity can be seen. Using another example from Marine Le Pen , in a debate on Islam and Europe , Le Pen stated : turning point, and if we don't protect our civilization it will disappear. Yes, I'm at tached to the nation. I want to preserve our cultural and (Amnesty International 2012, 17). ncept while in the following sentence. This is in stark contrast to the opinion piece written in regard to the EU, with only a passing a reference to the nation in the second part of this stateme nt. Th e very act of framing the discussion on versus identity transnationally. It would be more common for a far right politician to speak of the threat to the national culture or civilization, which i s also frequently done, but speaking of a European collective is becoming more common in relation to Islam. A speech given by Geert Wilders, a Dutch far right politician, at a gathering in Palm Beach, Florida contained this excerpt in regard to a new far right organization he had founded : lliance (IFA), an international organization to fight for freedom and to oppose Islam, here, in America, in Europe, and Israel, and Canada, Australia, ev to preserve and save our Judeo Christian civilization and values, and therefore we (Wilders 2014 ).

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47 Again we see a common identity centere d on religion espoused by a prominent far right politician, this time addressing a far right crowd of supporters across the Atlantic. This section of Wilders speech establishes a divide betwee is a common theme within far referencing a common religious heritage and common g oals for Judeo Christian people. This statement seems to indicat e that there is an acceptance , if not of a political or ethnic common identity, at least of a cultural transnational one predicated on common Christian values and a common history . Another component of the far in regard to Islamic migration is that much of it implies that terro rism is synonymous with Islam. This premise of terrorism being integrally tied to Islam is furthermore used to reinforce the far right position of Islam being incompatible with Europe, or European ideals. The leader of the Italian far right party, the Nort hern League, Matteo Salvini, spoke on the topic following the Paris attacks, he stated: ven worse because it means that Islam is not compatible and cann ot be integrated with Forward 2015). d immediately ties it with terrorism and then brings it back to Islam. Not only does this statement attempt to link Muslim migrants with terrorism, it attacks the notion that they are worthy of citizenship within a democratic Europe , regardless of the length of their roots in Europe. This linkage is seen throughout far right discourse and is instrumental in right political discourse. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, likewise tied the Paris attacks to Muslim migration during his response to the attacks, when he remarked:

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48 that everyone is a terrorist but no one can say how many terrorists have arrived already, how many are coming day by day . Those who said yes to immigration, who transported immigrants from war zones, those people did not do everything for the defense of Eu rop ean people (Robins Early 2015 ). Again, we see a theme of immigration, Islam, terrorism, and security. Although, there is also this collective mentality in regard to Europeans defense, which while certainly not an endorsement of a common identity, it imp lies a broader concern for Europe as a whole. An intriguing example of how the transnational nationalist identity is being expressed by the far right is via party videos . The Swedish Democratic Youth produced a short video languages, declared that their cultures, beliefs, and freedoms are under attack (Swedish Democratic Youth 2014). The threat being discussed , and a reoccurring theme emanating from the far right, that the EU represents. This corresponds with the far right stance on the EU, but by taking a closer look there is an interesting component to the video that speaks directly to far right conceptions of European identity . Nearly all of the speakers in the video are visibly light skinned and there only representative of southern Europe is the Spanish speaker. There is no overt acknowledgement of this in the video, but from the exclusions on e can get a glimpse of what phenotypical criteria the far right considers to be European. The video further attacks Europe. The imagery and the allusion to Muslim integ ration send s the message of a unified people who share a common identity that is under attack.

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49 Discourse Analysis Political and Scholarly Context The discourse ana lyzed examines the discussion of European identity through a very specific lens, and while not all encompassing, potentially illustrates a few intriguing things. Namely, far right parties and EU elites both have a conception of a European identity that is predicated on certain values, wi th some overlap . Proponents of the European project have adopted a cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity that is present in the discourse on identity, even if it is not explicitly referred to using that terminology. T he far right has built upon the identity construction process occurring in the EU , tailoring the definition of European identity into one that utilizes traditional far right ideology and political positions. Political and historical context will provide a frame from which to analyze the significance of the discourse as it pertains to a transnational European identity. This section will serve to take the discourse analyzed in the last section and unpack how these identity discourses are relevant to the current political climate in Europe. The di scourse analysis showed that, among numerous EU elites, there is a relatively Proponents of this interpretation professed a principle of European peopl es falling under an identity of values that has its roots in cosmopolitanism, human rights, and human dignity. The refugee crisis presented a political challenge that led to a questioning of the principles that underline the cosmopolitan interpretation of European identity. While there were significant policy shifts during this time, the discourse showed that the commitment to basic ues and ideals, by EU elites have not change d significantly. Furthermore, the discourse alluded to t he development of a European identity as being a central policy aim of the EU. The transnational European identity is predicated on shared

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50 values and those values are reinforced by EU institutions and policies. Values frequently espoused by EU cosmopolitan s are those of liberal democracy and commitment to the world reinforce and construct an identity that is less predicated on borders and more on the exchange of people and i deas. The proponents of this interpretation of European identity indicate its importance in regard to the viability and strength of the EU as a political reality. The far right interpretation of European identity is likewise p redicated on values and somew hat ironically builds upon many of the values that underline the cosmopolitan interpret ation. The far right often uses the language of liberal democracy when discussing identity and their political agenda. While the language may at times be similar, the me aning is starkly different as the far right interpretation envisions those values to only be applicable to a select group of people, typically those who share an ethnic affinity with the speaker. This is a key component of the transnational nationalism, as the traditional ethnic or cultural identity in far right ideology is replaced with a European identity, but a very narrowly defined one. This identity is predicated on what the far W hen these values are viewed within the context of the literature on far right parties and the current political climate , the interpretation is one of a white Christian European . For example, a far right interpretation seems to view all of those liberal democratic values that are often referenc ed as being intrinsically tied to European civilization What was intriguing about the discourse is that when it came to the topic of Islamic

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51 nationalist identity, which Essentially , transnational nationalism perspectives align with what the literature states in regard to traditional far right political and ideological positions, only Europe represents the role that the nation state traditionally does. Given the level of integration that has taken place in Europe over the past several decades, it would be difficult for far right parties to expand their base without accepting people who have been positively impacted by this proce ss. This can be assumed t o partially explain why the far right has tried to rebrand itself as less radical, as a method of reach ing part of the electorate that is turned off by more racist or xenophobic appeals. The relationship between the cosmopolitan and far right interpretati ons of European identity is complex. B oth interpretations outline different views of what it means to be European, but common themes often present themselves. While if pressed, far right politician s would express the superiority of their own ethnic and cul tural background over a of a transnational European identity existing alongside the national one among the far right , much in the same way cosmopolitan Europeans maintain their national identit ies. Therefore , it is not to say that the far right has abandoned their traditional notions of national identity, but that the European identity construction process has likewise influenced identity conceptions among them. This is evident in the manner in which the far project and integration. The meaning of these ideas for EU elites and far right leadership is cle arly differ ent, but their genesis is the same. Thus the transnational nationalist

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52 interpretation of European identity is integrally related to the cosmopolitan identity that has been constructed in conjunction with European integration. Concluding Reflections The EU is facing a number of problems that threaten to undo decades of postwar cooperation between member states. The UK vote to leave the EU has raised questions about whether other states will follow suit and the far right will be an integr al part of that disc ussion, w ith the far right proclaiming a victory over the EU and the integration of Europe. Also t he manner in which the refugee crisis is addressed will likewise be an important discussion moving forward, with a balancing act between adhering to the core cosmopolitan and humanitarian principles of the EU and taking seriously the frustrations of those being courted by the far right. All of these political questions are related to identity and specifically what sort of identity do Europeans possess and how t he EU will be shaped by this, and far right desires. Further areas of research on far right cooperation and identity construction are not limited just t o Europe, but also to an increasingly globalized world. There is evidence that the far right has begun to show transatlantic and pan Eurasian cooperation , which could have profound implications for global politics ( Arnold & Romanova 2013; Polyakova 2014) . Nigel Farage, has recently rallied support for Do nald Trump in the United States presidential race , as a show of nationalist solid arity (Teague 2016) . With the intense debate on race in the US and the racial undertones seen in the Brexit debate, this is an with a transnational ideological comradery finding its way into the far ri ght, funding has allegedly been flowing from Russia to far right European parties, which has been beneficial

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53 for the ir electoral successes (Foster & Holehouse 2016) . Challenges aimed at subverting the international order that has been in place since the end of WWII are on the rise and the far right, once thought to be relegated to the political margins, is playing an increased role. All of this, tied together with shifting views on identity, has the potential to see the far right evolv e in new and unpredictable ways .

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