The European Union's motto 'United in Diversity' contrasts with the cultural standardization entailed in the formation of nation-states and the forging of political identities in Europe. So what does being 'united in diversity' mean? Focusing on language politics and policies, this book offers a thorough assessment of the implications of cultural and linguistic diversity for the process of constructing a European polity. It sheds light on some of the most pressing problems associated with contemporary identity politics. It is often claimed that the recurrent celebration of diversity in Europe's programmatic declarations has an effective political impact. Kraus offers a critical analysis of how the EU has responded to the normative challenge of creating an institutional frame for integration which allows cultural differences to be transcended without ignoring them.
Peter A. Kraus is Chair of Ethnic Relations at the University of Helsinki and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Humboldt University, Berlin.
Preface; 1. Introduction: the dynamics of European integration; 2. The European Union's democratic deficit and the search for a European demos; 3. The identity of a multinational polity; 4. Language and politics: a challenge for Europe; 5. The language question in the institutional complex of the European Union; 6. Political communication in the transnational civil society; 7. Recognition, self-determination and integration in a union of diversity.