Competing identities? Understanding the role of national and European identities in the case of Brexit
Abstract: The study of European integration has increasingly become an important topic for IR-scholars and has developed into a field of its own. Scholarly interest in the role of identities in these regional integration processes has also risen over the last decades. This study can be comprised within this line of study. By using social constructivism as a theoretical framework, the paper seeks to understand the role of national and European identities in the case of Brexit. The paper also looks at identity formations of citizens and their attitudes towards European integration in relation with these identities. Although the UK has always stood on the sidelines of the European project, the results of the vote indicate that there are deeper processes that need to be studied. By using qualitative content analysis, the paper looks at framings in two national British newspapers and by two political leaders. The paper comes to the conclusion that these identities are both portrayed as compatible and competing with each other.
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