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Political Differentiation as the End of Political Unity? A Narrative Analysis


Which narratives do political actors use in times of increased political differentiation, and do they use them to strategically promote political unity in the EU? Two periods were selected for a narrative analysis. First, the years 2000-2004 preceding the ‘big bang’ enlargement and second, the crises in the Euro area between 2010 and 2014. Despite more political differentiation in both analysed time periods and their different construction, the narrative analysis shows that political unity was not undermined. The two identified key narratives – ʽunited in diversity’ and ʽdivided in unity’ – legitimised the EU’s political unity by promoting it through differentiated integration.
Keywords: differentiated integration; European Union; narratives; political unity

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