Et spørgsmål om identitet: Et speciale om konstruktion af identiteter i Folketingets behandling d. 26. marts 2009 af Forespørgsel 24: Om udviklingen i Tyrkiet

Katrine Bæch Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master’s thesis springs from a profound interest in the discussions that the question of Turkey’s possible accession to the European Union continues to cause in the media as well as among politicians. A substantial part of the question of accession relates to the issue of Turkey’s ‘Europeanness’, meaning that depending on how the term ‘European’ is understood, Turkey can be portrayed as either European or not. It is from this perspective that the thesis sets out to examine, how Turkey is presented in Forespørgsel 24: Om udviklingen i Tyrkiet, a debate which took place in Folketinget on March 26th 2009. Relying mainly on the work of Norwegian political scientist and social anthologist Iver B. Neumann on the logic of culture in International Relations, the thesis takes a constructivist approach within the framework of The English School of International Relations to investigate how identities are constructed as the difference between ‘self’ and ‘other’ in the empirical material. The analysis observes how the identities of ‘EU’ and ‘Turkey’ generally are constructed by the participants of the debate, and how these identities are constructed as oppositions to each other. From here the analysis investigates closer, how meaning is infused to significant terms such as ‘democracy’, ‘Islamic’ and ‘European’ in the debate and how this infusion of meaning creates opposition between the identities of ‘EU’ and ‘Turkey’ on both a verbal level, a practical implementational level and an ideological level. These levels of opposition between identities lead the thesis to conclude that based on how meaning is read into ‘European’ in the debate a dichotomy between ‘European’ and ‘Muslim’ is established, that unequivocally portrays ‘Turkey’ as non European.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages144