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Historien i politiken: Historieanvändning i norsk och svensk EU-debatt 1990-1994
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
History in politics : The use of history in the Norwegian and Swedish debates on membership in the European Union 1990–1994 (English)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation the use of history in public debate in Norway and Sweden in relation to membership in the European Union (EU) 1990–1994 is examined. The purpose is to contribute with new knowledge about the relationship between politics and writing history, as well as describe the role of history in national and other identities. The analysis is both quantitative and qualitative. Historical narratives are re-constructed from the history used by the political figures when they argued for or against EU membership. The narratives relate to the political subjects which were in the limelight in connection with the question of EU, as well as preconceptions about Norwegian, Swedish and European identity.

The dissertation shows that history is a multifaceted rhetorical tool in the political debate. In Sweden it was the policy of national security which was debated from a historical perspective. In it the debaters also used several examples from European history. In Norway, history entered the debate in connection with issues relating to sovereignty and democracy. In comparison with the Swedish EU debate, European history was drawn on less in Norway.

Historical narratives of identity appearing in the EU debate show structural similarities, but at the same time differ in significant aspects. In a comparison the Norwegian national narrative seems unequivocal and well defined. It is retrospective due to its main component being the development of democracy in 19th century Norway. The Swedish national narrative is very clearly based on a notion of progress and continuous development, both as regards economy and democracy, and it is the history of the 20th century which stands in focus. In Sweden the constructions of the past separated according to party political lines, and the content of the national narrative was very much subject to debate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2006. , 358 p.
Studia historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 226
Keyword [en]
History, history of historiography, identity, contemporary history, political history, historical culture, narrative, use of history, Sweden, Norway, European Union, political rhetoric, Swedish history, Norwegian history, European history, Swedish historians, Norwegian historians, debate on EU-membership, 20th century
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7204ISBN: 91-554-6691-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-7204DiVA: diva2:169082
Public defence
2006-12-01, Sal X, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2006-11-10 Created: 2006-11-10 Last updated: 2014-10-02Bibliographically approved

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