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The Monitor's View For Europe, lessons about identity in Britain’s exit vote

Europe’s long history in defining new collective identities will continue as it deals with the effects of Britain’s vote to ‘leave’ the European Union.

For centuries, Europe has provided lessons for the world on how to define a collective identity. Its people have gone from being medieval serfs to imperial subjects to citizens of nation-states to “members” of the European Union. They have gone from being the center of Christendom to an exporter of secular values enshrined as “human rights.” Now, after Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the union, Europe may once again show how diverse societies, beset with new challenges, discover the foundations to bind themselves around common ideals.

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