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Recasting Spheres of Political Community and Revisiting the Idea of a 'Europe of the Regions'

Projekter: ProjektForskning

  • Afdeling for Engelsk
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AS THE INTEGRITY of the nation state is challenged both by sub-state nationalism, by European integration and by economic and cultural globalization, the study of political structures that work simultaneously below, above and beyond the nation state assume critical importance. This project has as its case studies the British-Irish Council (BIC), The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) and the Nordic Council (NC), The Nordic Council of Minister (NCM). It explores their respective developments in the period from 1998 to the present, investigating their role in giving expression to multilayered and composite identities for internal as well as international application.
BOTH COUNCILS institutionalise civic, inter-parliamentary and inter-governmental cooperation between a variety of national legislatures, and both Councils rest their legitimacy on a historical narrative of a common social, cultural, economic and political fabric – a sphere of community that goes beyond the nation or the state. However, the two Councils are at different points of their trajectories: The BIC and BIPA are at present good examples of how constitutional thinking in degrees beyond absolute sovereignty can work as an important tool in conflict resolution and conflict transformation especially when the contentious issues are about national, political and cultural identities. The NC/NCM are at present good examples of how alternative associations can remain vibrant within and beyond European integration. The institutional and structural changes that the NC/NCM has undergone in recent years – not least in terms of relating to the EU as a Macro region and strengthening the Nordic intergovernmental cooperation on foreign and security policies and 'cross-border obstacles'- presents important new ways of discussing deeper integration in the spaces between the local, national and global.
THE RESEARCH PROBLEM, therefore, is how and to what extent trans-national Councils like the BIC and the NC can act as conduits between the local, the national and the supranational - not only in creatively adapting the nation state model to better accommodate the multilayered and composite identities of its citizens - but also in providing launch sites of more normative international activities for the member-states. By making it a comparative study I can further explore the specific interplay between the structural; political and cultural dimensions of these realms.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/11/201031/05/2013




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