First of all I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr Noël Parker, for the lively discussions, for the trust in accepting this dissertation subject, and for exposing me to the bibliography that sparked my interest in this field and changed my vision of the world. I would also like to thank Prof Brian Sealy from SCRIBA for the financial support that allowed me to undertake this course of studies.

Seldom mentioned but essential is the secretarial work that keeps everything else going. The competence, helpfulness, and friendly smiles of Mrs Karen Short from LIS and Mrs Karen Arthur from Elec Elec Eng can’t be praised enough: Thank you!

I would also like to thank all the people and institutions that, in one way or another, helped me and contributed to the realisation of this work: Maria Joana de Faria Bento Pessoa de Melo Barradas, José Luís Duarte Mateus Leal (who read and commented parts of this dissertation, as well as most of my essays), Francisco Torrejoncillo Lemos, Maria Catarina Ferreira do Espírito Santo, Ezequiel Balsa Vicente, José Maria de Melo Parente, Johanna Nieminen, Mário de Melo dos Santos Barradas, Jos Maas, the German Information Centre in London, the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung in Bonn, the Embassies of Finland, Sweden and Norway in London, and the Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear in Sacavém.

A big cheers to my MA colleagues who made student life in Guildford more pleasant: Aurora Trif, Carmen Georgescu, Gabi Schuker, Michael Powell, Monique Koster, Ray Barkley, Stefan Debruyne, and of course Trine Berit Storødegaard.

The countless discussions about life, the universe, and everything, his continued interest and comments, his unremitting optimism and belief in the ultimate goodness of things, and above all his general support and friendship made all the difference. A big thank-you to Chris Jeynes.

Life in Surrey was so much better with the friendship of Margaretha Danbolt Simons, that this work is obviously dedicated to her.