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European Union and Disunion

This project aims to explore and publicise some of the drawn-out narratives and sentiments that at different times have aided or compromised the imagining and workings of Europe.

This is a time of charged sentiments towards Europe. These sentiments draw on tact and enduring assumptions of community and belonging that are poorly understood, yet pivotal in shaping public opinion. The assumptions are the spring-well of equally charged, though perhaps different, sentiments of Europe. Their nature, legacies and political purchase need to be made more explicit if we are to respectfully and diplomatically negotiate these varied effects. Narratives of exclusion and contestations to the European project have been particularly forceful in the Mediterranean countries. In the Southern EU Member States, austerity measures, migration as well as the effects of globalisation have contributed to the polarisation of ideas and to feeding populist narratives. This project engages with and unpacks some of the constitutive stories of identity and meaning that in the past and present have helped to bring together but also divide Europeans.


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Project part of

Europe's Futures

Our activities under the theme of Europe's Futures build on the Academy's long-standing links with partners across Europe and beyond. They aim to inform public debate as well as provide distinctive analysis and evidence to policy-makers in the UK and the rest of Europe.


We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.

Other projects in this programme