This unit aims to:
* Identify and analyse the main currents in the academic and policy debate on belonging at national and European level;
* To explore the nature of belonging in Europe by analysing specific national micro case-studies;
* Examine the issues of identification, emotional attachments; ethical and political values attached to the politics of belonging;
* Discuss the main challenges facing the nation-state and Europe in relation to the politics of belonging, questions of identity, nationalism and ethnicity;
* Develop skills in comparative political analysis, in preparing briefing papers on case studies, and in conducting seminars.
Students who complete the unit successfully will be able to demonstrate that they:
* Have acquired a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights in contemporary European politics and the issue of belonging;
* A comprehensive understanding of the techniques of investigation and analysis applicable to the study of identity, belonging and political processes;
* Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in European Politics;
* Conceptual knowledge that enables students to both evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in European Politics and Politics of Belonging, and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
The key skills the unit will hone and further develop are:
* Advanced research skills in identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature.
* Intellectual skills of conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument.
* Skills of assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing arguments and scenarios, including the reporting and assessing of qualitative and quantitative data.
* Generic and transferable skills related to the oral and written presentation of ideas.
* Skills of self-direction, self-evaluation and time management.
- Introduction: Theoretical Approaches to the Politics of Belonging: from the nation-state to transnational communities: social locations; identification and emotional attachments; and ethical and political values.
* Challenges to European identification
* The Nation in the changing world order
* The decline of national identity 'imagined community'
* Nationalism and New territories
* Selling the region: the reinvention of 'imagined community'
* The Méditerranée, a new transnational territory?
* Local and Territorial Belonging: state versus 'communities'
* Borders and the Politics of Belonging
* Transnationalism and Belonging.