How cosmopolitan is European Identity?

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Alexander Kustov, Laboratory for Comparative Social Research


    Considering European integration, scientists have recently raised the question of its influence on people’s identity and the nation-state. The question of European identity was raised by many scholars and policy makers. European integration has also given renewed impetus to the cosmopolitan discussion. However, empirical research on such topics has appeared just recently and, for instance, its results are still ambiguous. Seemingly, there is no single response to the call of such complicated phenomena, so the question of identity transformation is still open. While some scholars believe that European identity is a form of cosmopolitanism, others consider it as a form of nationalism on the new level. The aim of this work is to make a value contribution to this new trend of the quantitative research on supranational identities by linking European identity studies to the cosmopolitan scientific tradition. The purpose of the project would be, thus, to measure the distribution of European and cosmopolitan identities in European Union, analyzing its predictors and thereby creating a theoretically grounded and empirically validated model of supranational identities. Whereas the institutional basis for European identity is clear, the question of its mechanisms and effects is not so straight-forward and depends of its principal nature. After all, despite all the philosophical speculations, only thorough look at the empirical data (European Values Survey) can solve this puzzle. The data show the prevalence of the European identity is not high and it is considerably lower than the national one in most of the cases. At the same time, according to this study, Europe’s cores the highest in the level of cosmopolitan identity. Considering this, it is possible to suggest that the construction of such a supranational entity as EU with all its institutions, not just transfer people’s commitment from the national level to the European one, but rather “emancipate” (understood in the neutral way) people from their solely commitment to their nation, undermines their national centrism. That is why it is so important to consider cosmopolitanism in the study of European supranational identities.