AbstractAbstract: In this article, I explore the problem of identity at the national and European levels historically and sociologically, exposing the liberal thread that runs through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Looking to key historical and artistic figures, I argue for the continuity between early nationalist and European integrationist impulses, maintaining that-despite their seemingly contradictory essence-the two are bound together by a liberalism (viz. the pursuit of the natural rights of man) they hold in common. I contend that this connection illustrates that the initial efforts to construct the nation in the early nineteenth century and a supranational Europe more than a century later can be understood asidealistic liberal projects that have failed due to the populist turn upon which their success depends, leaving the cultural elites behind both projects in a shared loneliness.
Open Cultural Studies – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 21, 2018
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