Generation Peace: Children, Conflict and Competing Identities in Europe
Europe has always faced the challenge of identity. In the European Union’s (EU) formation, new mechanisms provided shared symbols and meaning for citizens, in large part, to promote peace in the region. Becoming part of the EU, and gaining access to those shared symbols, motivates many governments. This research investigates when and how children from conflict-affected societies learn about this shared European identity. The project will explore how perceived intergroup conflict relates to the saliency of a European identity, compared to national and ethnic identities, and the implications of these identities, among majority/minority children in divided societies (Croatia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Republic of North Macedonia). These cases represent a range of relations with the EU, from leaving to wanting to join. Understanding how a generation born into peace understands past conflicts, and turns to a European identity (or not), has implications for the future of the European project.
Principal Investigator: Dr Laura Taylor, Queen’s University Belfast