Volume 21, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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The article examines the various ways in which ‘solidarity’ is invoked and signified through narrative and categorial devices in a political debate following the UK’s vote to leave the EU in 2016. Analysing a floor debate in the European Parliament concerning a white paper released by the European Commission on the future of the EU held in March 2017, we investigate how politicians deploy references to ‘solidarity’ in service of different political agendas. Our research highlights the strategic use of ‘core’ values in political debate through the way different speakers appeal to ‘solidarity’ as a self-evident positive value within the EU, but which is then mobilised through different relevant actors and scenarios to argue contrastive political positions. Our analysis demonstrates how narrative positioning and category-bound normative expectations are harnessed to serve the aims of political persuasion by “populating” a shared principle of governance with purposeful sets of identities and interrelations.


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