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Introduction

The problem of who, or what, are ‘Europeans’ is at the centre of many of the most acute political and social issues confronting contemporary Europe. Can a genuine European identity be constructed within Europe, and if so on what basis? This question is of even greater importance as the European Union expands and becomes ever more multicultural in character. This unit examines the ways in which European identities are – or are not – being forged across Europe. It assesses the various
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

I would like to thank Liz Stokoe and Jackie Abell for giving me access to their transcript of the Panorama interview and along with Peter Bull generously sharing their unpublished work and knowledge of Diana lit
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1.13 Conclusion

So far we have traversed three kinds of domain in which the study of discourse is relevant. Discourse is often (but not necessarily) interactional and researchers have studied the order and pattern in social interaction. The study of discourse also has important psychological implications for the study of minds, selves and sense-making. Finally, discourse is about social relations, culture, government and politics.

No doubt, as you have been reading some problematic and confusing areas
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1.12 The politics of representation

We turn now to consider Diana as an icon, as the subject of discourse. It could be said that Diana and the many words written about her form a discursive space (Gilbert et al., 1999; Silverstone, 1998). She is the rather enigmatic centre of many competing representations of royalty, femininity, democracy, the family, morality, celebrity, fashion, private versus public life which jostle with each other. Such a discursive space is a place of argument. To use another metaphor, it i
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1.11.1 Subject positions

In her analysis, Blackman is identifying a pattern in Diana's talk and relating it to other similar methods of self-representation found in our culture. It is worth thinking through this in more detail. One key claim of discourse researchers is that language positions people – discourse creates subject positions. What does this mean? To speak at all is to speak from a position (remember the discussion of footing in the previous section). Further than this, the positions or slots in c
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1.10 Voice and the speaking subject

Discursive practices, as we have seen, order the shape of written and spoken discourse; they order the features which appear and the selection of words and phrases. But these properties are only a small subset of those which govern meaning-making. In this and in the next section we will be more concerned with patterns in the content of discourse and the psychological and sociological implications of those patterns. This will help elaborate further on the notion that language is constru
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1.9.2 To sum up

Such an analysis reinforces the notion of discourse as a form of work or labour. It also implies a strategic speaker. But, again, is this the case? Are speakers strategic in this way or just doing what comes naturally? It can suggest, too, a duplicity in Diana's actions. Potter is not implying this, however. Rather, as knowledgeable speakers and competent members of discursive communities, we are all, like Diana, skilled in a range of methods for accomplishing different activities such as sta
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1.9.1 ‘I dunno’

In his analysis of Extract 5, Potter focuses on the phrase ‘I dunno’, which appears at the beginning and at the end of Diana's last turn above. This phrase seems throwaway, just one fragment, yet perhaps it illustrates something about people's methods or discursive practices more widely. Why is that phrase there? What work does it do? Given the point made in the previous section that events can always be described differently, why this description of this kind of mental state at this poin
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1.7.1 Footing

The practices which make up a speech event or the interaction order can be quite fine grained. In documentary programmes such as Panorama, for instance, interviewers have to be particularly sensitive to the accusation that they are biased, that they are not sufficiently detached or impartial. As Clayman (1992) demonstrates, one way interviewers achieve this while still asking pertinent and provocative questions is through adjusting their footing. The term ‘footing’ again com
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1.6.2 Joining the Euro-zone

For all the new members there will be a process of ‘catching up’ with the older members before the former can join the Euro-zone. The GDP gap between them remains considerable. In 2002 the GDP per capita was 60 per cent of the EU average for Slovenia and the Czech Republic (in PPP terms (see the footnote to Author(s): The Open University

1.6.1 Introduction

Of course, there is another problem hovering in the background in respect to the Euro's international role: namely that of the enlargement of the EU. In the light of the analysis so far two areas are picked out here: monetary implications and fiscal policy implications. These are obviously closely related. Both of these raise questions about the costs involved for the new members and those set to join somewhere down the line. We concentrate on the monetary issue of joining the Euro-zone first
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1.5.4 Summary

  • The Euro has become an important currency of denomination for government and corporate bonds.

  • There is now emerging a two-currency world, made up of the US dollar and the EU Euro.

  • The advantages to countries of being able to borrow internationally in their own currencies have not been lost to them, so there will be an incentive for the east-Asian countries to develop their own ‘regional’ financial markets.


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1.5.3 Looking forward: implications and possible consequences

But what are the implications of these developments and trends? Clearly the emergence of a strong east-Asian bond market could threaten both the US dollar and the Euro markets, but this development is still in its infancy, and there are significant political and economic differences of interest amongst the possible east-Asian participants in such a market. So for the time being it will be the Euro and the US dollar that hold centre stage. But in as much as the Euro becomes a stronger currency
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1.2.1 The EU economy

Just to put things into perspective and remind ourselves of some basic background features of the EU, it is useful to provide an outline picture of the size of the EU compared to the USA and Japan. While a lot is made of the rise of China and India as potential competitors to these and other economies, as yet they remain rapidly expanding economic giants whose main impact will probably arise in the next decade. Comparative data on these two economies, and on the EU-12, the USA and Japan, is g
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you will:

  • appreciate the importance of the Euro-zone economy as a player in the international economic system;

  • recognise the importance and role played by the European Central Bank in the conduct of Euro-zone monetary policy;

  • understand the relationship between monetary policy and fiscal policy in the management of the European economy;

  • reflect on the consequences of Euro-zone enlargement for the conduct econo
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Introduction

This unit focuses on key developments in the economy of the European Union (EU) since the advent of the Euro in 1999. Further, it concentrates on the challenges this has posed for economic policy formation and the governance of the EU's expanding economy. One of the central features of the post-Maastricht governance environment is the attempt to create a ‘single market in services’ for Europe. If the 1990s was the decade of the ‘single market programme’ (SMP) which concentrated on the
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2.1 The challenge of change

We are living in a very complex and rapidly changing world. Social science does not exist in a vacuum: by its very nature, social scientific study directly considers those things in life which are close to our concerns as human beings – how we produce things, communicate with one another, govern ourselves, understand our varied environments, and how to solve the problems we face in the organisation of social relations and processes. The social sciences offer a way of dealing with all of the
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6.1 The complexities of a multifaceted Europe

If the ‘Europe of the Regions’ model is also ruled out – at least in its stronger versions which suggest that nation states are being replaced – the interesting question remains: how will significantly enhanced regionalisms relate to other ‘possible Europes’? These include the traditional ‘nation state’ and ‘Federal Europe’ models, both of which also reflect some continuing elements of reality, but in addition a ‘Europe’ of cities, of cultures, of national and ethnic m
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6.2 Introduction to the law in Scotland

This unit will introduce you to law making in Scotland. It is taken from W150 An introduction to law in contemporary Scotland, a new 15-point course from The Open University's Centre for Law. The unit begins by developing your general and legal study skills such as reading unfamiliar information, note taking and critical thinking. It then asks you to think about what law is and introduces you to the legal history of Scotland. The unit then moves to look at the Scottish Parliament by gi
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4.3 James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell produced a unified theory of the electromagnetic field and used it to show that light is a type of electromagnetic wave. This prediction dates from the early 1860s when Maxwell was at King's College, London. Shortly afterwards Maxwell decided to retire to his family estate in Galloway in order to concentrate on research, unhindered by other duties.

This unit presents Maxwell's greatest triumph – the prediction that electromagnetic waves can propagate vast distances
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