The Meaning of Europe by Mikael af Malmborg, Bo Stråth

By Mikael af Malmborg, Bo Stråth

Point out the be aware Europe in modern day society and also you are greeted with a number responses, from impassioned debate, to scepticism and outright hostility. but lengthy ahead of the emergence of the trendy eu Union, the concept that of Europe performed an essential position within the construction of nationwide id. This ebook considers the wealth of latest and historic attitudes in the direction of Europe and the way those fluctuate either inside of and among nation-states.Why are a few nations 'Europhiles' when others are 'Europhobic'? How has Europe alternately been perceived as a possibility to neighborhood tradition and identification or because the middle of nation-building? Why are person responses to Europe so diversified? evaluating and contrasting reports from twelve very diversified nations, the authors discover the multitude of the way within which validated nationwide discourses are reconciled with an rising id in the ecu. In doing so, this booklet makes an enormous contribution to what has proved to be some of the most arguable and heated debates of our time.

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The Greeks did not invent their own foundation myth, which was laid out by West European Enlightenment and Romanticist thinkers in their search for the roots of European civilization. The problem for the Greeks when they were confronted with the European discourse on ancient Greece was that the European foundation myth did not provide them with the links between classical antiquity and Greek modernity. One instrument with which this void could be filled was a ‘racial’ discourse, which emphasized distinction and excellence of Greeks when compared to the vast majority of Slavs on the Balkan peninsula.

The British imperial mission mainly passed beyond Europe and has became increasingly Western and linked to the special relationship with the United States. ‘Western’ in this understanding often came close to ‘Anglo-American’, but there was also a British self-understanding of being a bridge-builder between Europe and the United States. Although France had a colonial heritage almost on a par with the British, the values and the mission emanating from the French Revolution were more European. Two competing civilization images emerged underpinning competition about positions of power and prestige.

In the Czech case Europe emerged in the nineteenth century from the point of view of an endangered national existence, as a protective framework for Czech national ambitions against the German ruling nation in the Habsburg Empire. In Chapter 10, Miroslav Hroch depicts how a – 21 – Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth dominant theme of Czech nation-building became how ‘small nations’ could be integrated into the ‘family’ of the established European nations. Under conditions of the struggle for the Czech(oslovak) nation state during and after the First World War, the meaning emerged of a ‘New Europe’ that was in opposition to German nationalism and synonymous with ‘Western’ democracy.

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