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48 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks48 and id is 1 raw text is: 

JCMS  2010 Volume  48. Number  1. pp. 1-19

Political Myth, Mythology and the

European Union*

University of Trento


The EU,  as is commonly held, is a different form of political rule: a polity based on
rationality and functional interests, not emotional appeals. Without reference to the
narrative of the nation or the state, the question emerges as to whether the European
Union  needs or has myths? If it does, what are they and how successful have they
been? The aim  of this article - indeed of the special issue - is to explore the role of
political myth in creating normative and cognitive foundations for governing in the
EU  and to examine whether these are applicable to the case of the European Union.

     If this is your land, where are your stories?
                                Aboriginal proverb (Chamberlin, 2004, p. 13)


Much   like Canada's  aboriginal people who  believed  that claims to land were
based  on the stories that were told about it, claims to legitimate political rule
also need  their stories. Every form of social organization requires narratives
to give it meaning   and  to provide a  reason for being  (Blumenberg, 1985;
Meyer   and Rowan,   1977). Political authority is no different and has a narra-
tive that frames who  can  govern, why,  how  and  over whom.   Our  normative

* I would like to thank Mark Gilbert and Gerard Bouchard for helpful comments in addition to the
anonymous referees for all the contributions to this issue.

C 2010 The Author(s)
Journal compilation C 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148,

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