Does the EU need a navel? Implicit and explicit identification with the European Union

Laura Cram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Analysts should expect neither too much from European Union identity and its causal role in driving the integration process, nor too little, by underestimating the stabilising force of implicit identification with the EU. Daily transactions in an EU institutional context embed an acceptance of the EU as a legitimate political authority and underpin passive consent to the continued functioning of the EU. The emergence of explicit EU identification is contingent upon the value (real and symbolic) attached to transactions, the extent to which valued goods are perceived to be under threat and whether competing political authorities are viewed as legitimate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71–86
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number1
Early online date12 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • common market
  • European Union
  • implicit identification

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