Seeing Europe through the Nation

The Role of National Self-Images in the Perception of European Integration in the English, German, and Dutch Press in the 1950s and 1990s

Seeing Europe through the Nation

The Role of National Self-Images in the Perception of European Integration in the English, German, and Dutch Press in the 1950s and 1990s

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Sven Leif Ragnar de Roode analyzes Dutch, English, and German perceptions of European integration against the backdrop of dominant elements of national self-images in a comparative perspective. The study is based on a source sample of more than 1200 newspaper editorials about the founding treaties of the European Communities in the 1950s and the Treaty on European Union from 1992/3. The source analysis is framed by an analysis of dominant, publicly acknowledged national self-images in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century. The representation of European integration in Dutch, English, and German newspapers shows that both, the perception of Europe and national self-images, were essentially contested. It demonstrates how nationalised the gaze unto Europe was. The perception of Europe was tinted and judged by national self-images. The discourse on European integration was inseparably intertwined with the discourse on the nation. Europe was essentially thought 'through' the nation.