Docstoc

Dear colleagues_

Document Sample
Dear colleagues_ Powered By Docstoc
					PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                       1
Dear colleagues,


hereby you get an outline of my, well, forthcoming June Paper. The core of my
project – aim, research questions and sources – meanwhile is quite precisely
circumscribed. Also the last part is rather straightforward: Scottish and Catalan
history, the media, the history of European integration. I'll keep that short in my
presentation, though, as this is quite descriptive and there's little analytical
leverage.
Things get a bit (a lot) fuzzier when it comes to more conceptual matters such as
national identity, culture etc. I have listed these points as patchworky as they are
at this stage, with some references, it's all there somewhere but hard to write down
in a linear and logical way (as you know…). I'd be quite happy if we discussed
single or all aspects in a kaleidoscopic sort of way. Or in any other way, for that.
See you all on Monday,
love
Verena
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                         2
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia


Aims and background:
This project will analyse the orientation of press discourse in two stateless nations
towards the regional/national and the European level. Before the background of
the – both irritating and fruitful – tensions between the nation (Scotland and
Catalonia), the central state (the United Kingdom and Spain) and a supra-national
organisation (the European Union), it examines the construction of national self-
images in this particular context, and identity formation processes behind the
constant negotiation of responsibilities, loyalties and resources.


Sources:
a) Daily newspapers
Scotland: Glasgow Herald, The Scotsman (Edinburgh)
Catalonia: more complex due to the language question
b) Semi-structured interviews
with academics, journalists, politicians in order to create a profile of attitudes and
put memory to the test


The study will cover a period of roughly thirty years. Within that timeframe, I will
pick single dates which relate either to events of strongly national character, or to
decisive steps in the history of the European integration. At the moment, the latter
are the Single European Act in 1986, and the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, possibly
also the introduction of the single currency. These distinctly European events
allow for some comparisons between Scotland and Catalonia at exactly the same
time on exactly the same issue.
In the case of Scotland I have identified a series of events that are (?) suitable for
my purposes. The list is interspersed with some Catalan events – however, that
part of it is not conclusive as yet.
For the June Paper I will conduct a sort of pre-test by analysing several of the
Scottish events in the Scotsman (available at EUI) over a period of 4 – 6 days (the
real thing should cover at least ten days/ two weeks before and after the event).
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                                  3
List of important events in the history of Scotland, Catalonia, and Europe:


                                                                                            1971
                                                                          Assemblea de Catalunya

1.1.1973
United Kingdom joins the European Community

                                                                                              1975
                                                                                        Franco dies

1.3.1979
Referendum on Devolution for Scotland fails due to a 40% benchmark;

                                                                                          25.10.1979
                          Catalans are called to decide in a referendum on the statutes of autonomy:
            their consent is overwhelming, and the legislation is implemented on 17 th January 1980


17.2.1986
Single European Act: moving Europe towards "ever closer union": cross-comparison Scotland-
Catalonia, Spain-UK


30.3.1989
first meeting of Constitutional Convention:
the rise and climax of civil politics in Scottish society


7.2.1992
Maastricht Treaty: cross-comparison Scotland – Catalonia, Spain – United Kingdom, Brussels


                                                                                       25. 7.1992
                                   Olympic Games in Barcelona: High times for Catalan nationalism

12.12.1992
Democracy Demo in Edinburgh, European Summit:
European politics and the struggle for Home Rule coincide
as the Home Rulers try to reach a European rather than British public

Spring 1996
BSE-crisis: the press goes out of its way to emphasise Scotland's
distinctness from England, and the European Union represents an
external threat by imposing bans on British beef

September 1997
Devolution Referendum: within two years Scotland will have its own
parliament with powers over a wide range of devolved matters

1999
Opening of Scottish Parliament: a new beginning or unfinished business?


1.1.2002
Introduction of the Euro: cross-comparison Scotland-Catalonia, Spain – UK; although the UK has
not joined the single currency yet, it vividly discusses the pros and cons
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                     4
My Research Questions can be summed up as follows:
   (How) Do the Media construct Scotland and Catalonia as European places?
   (How) do they reflect national events in a European perspective, and European
    integration in a national one?
   Are there similarities, or a tendency towards convergence between Scottish
    and Catalan press discourse? If so, can the European context account for that?
    Where lie the differences and what do they tell?


Although these questions embody a strongly sociological perspective, they will be
firmly anchored in a historical understanding of the social and political
developments. Behind the research questions stands the eagerness to understand
   how attitudes changed over time and which instances brought change about;
   whether in the course of the European integration process there is an
    increasing degree towards a 'Europeanisation' of press discourse or even a
    tendency towards a 'European communicative space';
   and, lastly, whether the opinions uttered in the press are projected towards the
    future or the past, in short, which role history plays.


My methodological tools will be taken from discourse analysis and related
disciplines, and I will especially look out for discursive, language-based images of
the nation as represented through symbols, stereotypes, US against THEM-tropes,
assertions of distinctiveness and difference, references to an independent history
(or, for that, historical independence), and archaic tropes such as purity,
superiority and foundation myths.
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                       5
Theoretical Background
Identity, Culture and History
   Identity as a social sphere in which history, society and culture interact:
    semantic fields and symbolic systems
   The Other, discursive drawing of borders
   self and identity have today become more fragmented, no 'master identity' is
    possible, greater opportunities, plurality of new identities (Beck, Giddens)
   identities are about using the resources of history, language and culture (Hall)
           Scotland: sufficient continuities in institutional arrangements to link
            historic and contemporary identity (McCrone); medieval state had to
            appeal beyong ethnicity  shapes modern identity (Craig, Smout)
           distinctive markers of identity such as language or religion (Bauman)
            have been absent in Scotland: modern Scottish identity firmly
            embedded in a 'sense of place'; concentric loyalties (Smout)
           multiple meanings of Scottish identity (Moreno); longstanding
            ideological battle about origins (Finaly, Kidd); issues of Scottishness,
            Englishness, Britishness (Cohen, Colley, Smout, McCrone)


   conceptual dichotomy: culture V state, east V west, bad V good
   self-consciousness as a nation is not sufficient as an idea of a nation, thus
    mobilisation of cultural carriers as 'the essence' (McCrone)
           lack of alignment between the cultural and the political in Scotland
            (McCrone, Bond)
           Scotland seems a poor example of a homogeneous powerful nation:
            language not available as a distinct cultural carrier unlike in Catalonia
           Perceived absence of a 'rounded culture', a country of psychoses
            (Muir, Davie, Nairn)
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                      6
Regionalism V Nationalism
In European Union technocratic language Scotland and Catalonia are regions,
however, they consider and talk of themselves as nations. As this constitutes the
social and political reality in the two countries, I will stick to the nationalism
terminology.


   Crisis of national consciousness in old nation-states (Hobsbawm)
   Self-consciousness of nations at the core, cultural carriers at the surface
    (Hastings, McCrone)
   Nationhood as a medieval concept, no great divide between pre-modern and
    modern, linguistic and cultural continuity (Hastings)
   Nations are the creation of human communication (Hastings, Deutsch); core
    elements are language, print media, education (Anderson, Gellner)
   Nationalism not as the affirmation of 'objective' differences but as the
    mobilisation of those which the actors believe salient: cultural differences as
    the outcome of social struggles (McCrone)
   Exit is attractive when voice is denied: nationalism as a dialectiv affair (Nairn)
   Rise of neo-nationalism, sub-state nationalism (Keating, McCrone)


 Stateless nations, Devolution, Autonomy (Keating, Paterson, McRoberts etc)


Images, Signs, Representations
Imagining a country implies that it has a picture. In the case of Scotland this
picture os provided by the Scottish landscape. As a sense of place is central to
modern Scottish identity nature, landscape and environment have become
semiotic signifiers. The 'imagined geography' of Scotland has been criticized by
many contemporary scholars and intellectuals for they classify the usual
stereotypes as backward, culturally regressive and negative, suggesting
subordination and dependency and isolating historical events from their context:
   the Highlands have been 'colonised by an empire of signs' (Womack)
   'The time that Scotland was ceasing to be distinctively and confidently herself
    was also the period when there grew an increasing emphasis on the emotional
    trappings of the Scottish past', 'islands of memory in foggy landscapes' (Ash)
PhD Project Verena Boos, April 2002, HEC 1
National Self-Images and European Integration: Scotland and Catalonia
                                                                                       7
   pop-up picture school of Scottish history (McIlvanney)
   'pathological discourses' in film (Edensor, McArthur)
   pessimistic and misleading (Beveridge and Turnbull)


 ask about the mechanisms of images: whose images, whose Scotland?
Possible outcomes and implications?
Scotland as a set of images, community as symbolically constructed?


Paradox: for 300 years Scotland had had no "formal political reality of its own"
but has an omnipresent imagery, a universal iconography: tartan, kilts, bagpipes
etc  the imaginary Scotland is much more powerful than its reality (McCrone)




Media and Civil Society (Schlesinger, Cormick, McCrone, Smith


Historical Development and Contemporary History in Scotland and
Catalonia (similarities and differences, the constitutional arrangements and the
institutional framework, national identities, the political and historical context.)

History of European Integration

				
DOCUMENT INFO