Culture Habitus & European Integration

Culture, Habitus & European Integration

Funded by: HEA (Higher Education Authority), NDP (National Development Plan), EU (European Union).

Publications for this project...


Dr. William O'ReillyConvenor and Project Leader
Dr. Nina WitoszekPostdoctoral researcher
Ms. Neval BerberPostgraduate Researcher
Mr. Richard McMahonPostgraduate researcher
Brendan SweeneyPostgraduate researcher


Convenor: Dr. William O'Reilly, Department of History

Moral Communities and the Challenge of European Integration: Ireland, Poland, Sweden, England and Germany

The aim of this project is to define the role of culture in the process of European integration, and in particular its potential to advance or retard the process of unification. Current studies of European integration are almost exclusively focused on matters of economics and politics. A coherent cultural vision is missing from the project of European Union and there is growing anxiety among electorates in most European countries about the ways in which "Euroland" will affect notions of national identity, relations to other ethnicgroups, sense of place, traditional patterns of life, etc. The overarching goal of the project is to throw light on the much-neglected cultural dimension of European integration. To this end the study conducts a comparative analysis of five cultures and the ways in which their founding morally informed traditions have supported or conflicted with political and economic challenges. Three central questions are: 1) Given that each culture is a site of tensions and conflicts: what value-charged narratives, images and rites have won out as constituents of modern national identity in the cultures under scrutiny and what has been the basis of their appeal? 2) In what way have these charismatic narratives resisted or supported the project of modernization and integration? 3) How does the existence of the varying moral traditions weigh on communal responses to European integration?

Dr. William O'Reilly, Professor Nina Witoszek

Publications from this project

Witoszek, N. & Trägårdh, L. 2002, ‘Culture and Crisis: the Case of Germany and Sweden', Berghahn Books, Oxford. Nina

Witoszek, 'Romanticism on Endless Trial: the Case of Scandinavia' in Vi har alltid vært romantiske (Bergen: Ariadne, 2001) pp 101-115

Nina Witoszek, 'Culture: Jurassic Park or Key to the Future' ('Kultur: Jurassic Park eller Nøkkelen til fremtiden?') Samtiden, Spring 2001 pp 57-68

McMahon, R. 2003, ‘The courts of petty sessions and society in pre-Famine Galway' in R. Gillespie (ed.) The re-making of modern Ireland: essays in honour of J.C. Beckett, Dublin, pp.101-137.

Berber, N. 2005, ‘Introduction' in A. J. Evans, Á Piedi per la Bosnia Durante la Rivolta, Edizioni Spartaco, pp. 5-11.