The aim of the article is to highlight the concept of ‘ritual’ in interpreting contemporary Europe. This little explored research path in the field of European Studies pivots on an essential premise: the development of a theoretical perspective, which underlines its inclusive proprieties. The concept of ritual can be applied to a ‘weak’ identity, such as a ‘European identity’, only if it is conceived as referred to an inclusive entity. By examining the properties of ritual, three models emerge to explain how it might foster the formation of inclusive social ties: “bridging”, “amplification” and “extension”. Based on this conceptual framework, the article focuses on two related analytical paths. The first reconstructs critically the use of the concept of ritual within the analytical paradigms of European identity. The second identifies European ritual performances conceived as indicators of styles through which Europe is currently, or in the future will be, perceived by its citizens.
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