Softening Divides through Legitimacy: The Case of E.U. Citizenship – Francesca Strumia

This paper is an excerpt from a larger project I am working on, in which I explore the socialization power of European citizenship through the lenses of literature on diffusion of norms in international relations and international law, borrowing from this literature the notions of cultural match, legitimacy and acculturation. In this work, I explore the possibility that while the community of the European citizens is one based on difference, the interaction of citizens at the European level as members of a community of law, and their exposure to the scripts of coexistence as citizens might lead in the long run to the internalization, on the part of the citizens, of a sense of “groupness” consistent with the norm of European citizenship. In this sense, I argue that elements of institutional design making supranational citizenship visible for its holders and highlighting the legitimacy of their participation as citizens at the European level might help a process of acculturation.

This paper presented at Racism, Immigration and Citizenship Conference Johns Hopkins University, April 2009