Marina Lambert defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Political Science

PHD defence


Marina Lambert


"Institutional practices of European identity construction in crisis".

The thesis

The thesis will be published as an e-book which can be bought at Academic Books. Furthermore, the thesis can also be loaned from the Royal Danish Library.

Time and venue

Monday 3 October 2022 from 14:00-17:00 at Centre for Health and Society, Department of Political Science, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., room 4.2.26. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at 14:00.

Assessment committee

  • Professor Maja Zehfuss, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (chair)
  • Professor Vincenzo Della Sala, University of Trento
  • Associate Professor Christoffer Leiding Kølvraa, Aarhus University


This dissertation contributes to the study of European identity by analyzing institutional practices of European identity construction in crisis through four cases: 1) the narratives of European integration, 2) institutional conceptualizations of European identity, 3) European identity promotion practices, and 4) Euromaidan.

This study uses psychoanalysis, narrative and affect theories and utilizes a mixture of interviews, narrative analysis and document analysis. The dissertation argues that the institutional practices of European identity construction during crisis rely heavily on actualizing the affective potential underpinning collective identities, and are found to have been designed to compel public support by inciting emotions and boosting affective investment through unconscious mechanisms entrenched in the identificatory processes.

This dissertation finds that: a) the institutional practices analyzed in this study reflect a commitment to produce a compelling narrative of European integration, fit to assume the function of Europe’s political myth and thereby contribute to the promotion of European identity; b) a shift of emphasis from seeking to promote European identity through reasoning public’s support for European integration to striking a balance where the affective dimension of identity processes is acknowledged and is strategically employed to further the political agenda of promoting European identity to the public; c) while European identity promotion practices are diverse and fluid, there is an increased salience in the institutional use of political emotions for the purpose of promoting European identity to the public; d) institutional narratives of European integration are used to compel political legitimacy and public support, and utilize a set of identity-bound psychological mechanisms enacted unconsciously by societies at the time of crises.