A Comparative Analysis on Arab and European Identity Structures: Portraying Distinctive Transnational Identity Patterns


  • Joelle Chamieh Universite Catholique de Louvain




European identity, Arab identity, transnationalism, essentialist approach, rational choice approach, functionalism, social-psychological approach, social-constructivism approach, neo-institutionalism approach.


Eighteen Arab countries speaking the same language (Arabic) and sharing the same cultural background, yet so far, a superficial coordination exists among them. Whereas, comparatively, European community members, who have less in common (in terms of multilingual and multicultural societies), have succeeded in forming a certain unified transnational identity structure. In order to understand this perplexity which indicates an apparent incoherence vis-à-vis both identity formations – in terms of unification models – this article proposes to dig deeply within the transnational European identity formation so as to disclose the mechanisms of its unifying functions by excavating tangibly rationalized theoretical analyses and apply them on Arab identity formations. Accordingly, a comparison is performed based on a set of theoretical analysis, where Arab and European identity formations are comparatively examined for cause of identifying plausible unifying patterns that may be adhered within the construct of a common Arab identity structure. Our original analysis framework is based on several theoretical approaches leading to the identification of identity-significant independent variables that will enable us to measure the similarities and the differences between the two above mentioned identity models.


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