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Europeanization of minorities vs. minorities of europeanization: historicizing european identity

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2011
Ongur, Hakan Övünç
The purpose of this dissertation is to answer ‘if we can live together?’, through establishing a historical approach towards the concepts of Europeanization, European identity and the rights of minorities. The main argument reads that within the historical understanding of Europeanization, it is theoretically impossible to speak of a common European identity that European peoples and societies could agree upon. The problem is that such impossibility cannot be explained by the mainstream political identity and Europeanization literature. In this thesis, in order to account for the late-modern European self-definition which is distinguished with its banal character that carries elements from post-modernity yet at the same time is situated on the modern necessities and inventions, ‘social identity’ and ‘social categorization’ conceptualizations of Henri Tajfel are addressed. The aim is to communicate between the studies of Europeanization and European identity and the Social Identity Theory that proposes an instant gathering of people through social ingrouping without developing a certain sense of common culture, identity or belongingness. Having set the theoretical ground, the practical consequences of European ingrouping are examined by employing a historical perception of the development of the idea of minorities in Europe. Minorities are the traditional others of European nation-states and they are the outgroups of any social ingrouping for that matter. There are observed two fundamental results of the current European ingrouping-outgrouping on the development of minority right regimes in Europe. On the one hand, there is still the traditional security-oriented perception of national minorities in Europe that is simultaneously exposed to Europeanization and some level of improvement; yet, on the other hand, the European ingrouping itself is causing the minoritization of certain groups, excluding them from the very agenda of Europeanization.