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Better than Europe - Eurosceptical self-descriptions in Norway and Switzerland

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Author(s): Jochen Hille

Journal: Nordeuropaforum
ISSN 0940-5585

Volume: 17;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 57;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Europe | Identities | Switzerland | Nations & Nationalism | Political Parties & Political Movements | Norway

ABSTRACT
In Norway and Switzerland the majority of the people rejected EU-integration in several referenda. The emotionality and the enormous mobilization that took place in the debates on integration cannot be sufficiently explained by economic and political reasons. Instead, the main resource aiding this eurosceptic mobilisation for lies more inreactivating deeply rooted descriptions of the national self and those of the ‘others’. Carving out these collective images, this paper compares how the major eurosceptical actors of Switzerland and Norway describe their actions as meaningful in their iconography and narrations. Eurosceptics perceive themselves mainly as defenders of the national community and its nation-state, which are regarded as warm, natural, close, just, efficient, peaceful and democratic, while an integrated Europe is perceived as a distant, cold and bureaucratic super-state EU.
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