The European international identity considered from outside: European, African and Asian interaction

Producció científica: Capítol de llibreCapítolAvaluat per experts


The concept of identity is currently one of the most discussed in the social sciences. Its use within debates concerning regional contexts - for instance, the European Union (EU) - has resulted in several interesting works, which demonstrate its relevance in the field of international relations.1 On the ground, questions of identity have arisen again since the end of the Cold War, when so-called ‘ethnic conflicts’ and wars justified in terms of identity broke out again, no longer frozen by the two superpowers (Kaldor 1999). In addition, postmodern theories of international relations differ from other approaches in their assertion of identity as a strong affecting factor in the definition of actors’ international strategies (Checkel 1998: 325-7; Wendt 1999). In an interesting chapter on identity in regional integration processes, Slocum and Van Langenhove (2005), after considering the difference between the static concept of identity used by Cerutti and Enno (2001: 4) and the dynamic one used by Von Busekist (2004: 81-2), argue that ‘Being a concept, “identity” - like other concepts - is used by actors towards various ends (Austin 1961). Its meaning is dependent upon the way it is used in a particular context and is thus situation-specific’ (Slocum and Van Langenhove 2005: 139). I would add that the identity is not just a concept but, considering its dynamic and situational aspects, actually a scheme of reference for action and of meaning for communication (Bello 2007: 10-11, 15, 24; Holzner 1978; Schutz 1970). Thus it can explain to those members who share it what the boundaries of their actions are and how to communicate this to others. On the basis of my previous study (Bello 2007, 2008), I would also say that identity depends not only on a situation, but also on the particular interactions which take place between actors in a specific context (Bello 2007: 10-11). In other words, amongst the various elements which compose the scheme of reference and the meanings through which an actor expresses itself, those used in a specific context depend on the interactions which actually takes place there. According to this view, the EU identity, like any identity, interacts with that of others and adapts itself by reacting to what they say and do, and according to the idea that the EU itself has of the others.

Idioma originalAnglès
Títol de la publicacióA Global Security Triangle
Subtítol de la publicacióEuropean, African and Asian interaction
EditorTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Nombre de pàgines18
ISBN (electrònic)9781135239350
ISBN (imprès)9780415496575
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de gen. 2009
Publicat externament


Navegar pels temes de recerca de 'The European international identity considered from outside: European, African and Asian interaction'. Junts formen un fingerprint únic.

Com citar-ho