3    Is there a European identity?

European self-understanding beyond unity and diversity

Given the preoccupation with identity in recent times, it was inevitable that the question of Europe would be posed in terms of that concept (Cerutti, 1992, 2003; Cederman, 2001; Delanty, 1995a; Garcia, 1993; Herrmann et al., 2004; Stråth, 2000, 2002; Wintle, 1996, 2000).1 The resulting notion of a European identity has led to a confused debate, not because Europe cannot have an identity or because the bearers of such an identity, Europeans, do not exist, but because the very idea of identity in this debate has rarely been clarified. Do we mean a collective identity, a variety of interlinking collective identities, an aggregation of personal identities, ...

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