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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

A Community of Europeans?: Differentiation Processes among Natives and EU Residents in the UK

European Union
Nora Siklodi
Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim
Nora Siklodi
Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim

Intra-European Union (EU) mobility was expected to bring together native citizens with their EU fellows, creating, for the first time, a truly transnational model of citizenship. Yet, if anything, the recent developments from the EU’s economic and migration crises as well as the on-going Brexit negotiations have underscored that such expectations were pre-mature at best. The division between native and EU resident populations seem to have widened over time – a trend that is likely to have been enhanced further by mobility from the post-2004 member states – it now feeds calls for nationalist and populist policies based on ‘alternative’ facts. Against this backdrop, the paper uses original interview evidence with native UK citizens and EU residents in the UK to draw attention to and elucidate novel differentiation processes that recent practices of intra-EU mobility seem to have generated. Specifically, the paper underlines the increasingly multifaceted character of and the growing multiplicity in how internal EU and national ‘others’ manifest today. Ultimately, this paper questions whether or not these novel differentiation processes between natives and EU residents sustain or undermine democratic politics at the state level and, more broadly, their implications for the EU’s political aspirations.
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