Portugal and the European Union: Defining and Contesting the Boundaries of the Political
This chapter explores the historical construction of Portugal’s relationship with the European Union from the revolution to the present day, during which there emerged a high level of support for the EU among Portuguese publics, and a marginalisation of opposition to integration from the radical left. This broad consensus is the product of a discursive strategy which associates European integration with a particular vision of Portuguese modernity connected with processes of democratisation and economic growth. The depoliticisation of European integration has been challenged as more policies have moved to the European level and particularly in the wake of the recent financial crisis. These events have served to expose the shifts in both how and where politics is practised in the Portuguese context as well as offering opportunities to (re)politicise the European Union as an issue of social contestation and an issue through which national institutions and politics can be challenged.
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