of Brussels-based institutions and serving as their indispensable backbone.” 14 In the political discourse, the Franco-German relationship plays a key role in discursive constructions of its European identity that positions the Nazi past as the
Irish National Identity and Germany as a “Significant Other” during the Euro Crisis
This article argues that the symbolic borders of Europe and the existence of external Others have been at times more important than Europe's center or its actual physical boundaries, especially during the first decades after the foundation of the European Communities. Analyzing textual and visual sources taken from some ninety French, Italian, and German history textbooks published between 1950 and 2005, the various sequences in which European integration has been constructed are highlighted. Communism, the first external Other, provided the first minimum common denominator for a nascent political Europe. It was not until the end of the Cold War that a projection of a distinct European identity appeared. Nevertheless, the role of new external Other(s) remains important for the evolution of the discourse of a European identity. This article draws attention to the Others, seeking to embed the Others' perspective in narratives of Europe.
Michael A. Di Giovine
It has become a Structuralist truism in the social sciences to state that individuals define themselves by what they are not. It has equally become evident that travel—and particularly the voluntary, temporary, and perspectival type that we call tourism—is predicated on interaction with the Other. Travelogues are particularly salient “social facts” in this regard, for they both index such processes of identity formation, as well as contribute to them. Two edited volumes, Rolf-Hagen Schulz-Forberg's Unraveling Civilisation: European Travel and Travel Writing (2005) and John Zilcosky's Writing Travel: The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Journey (2008) provide compelling examples of how the multifarious and complementary processes of travel and travel writing not only index, but construct, European identity.
Anthropological Perspectives on the Process of European Integration
After the fall of the Iron Curtain a new concept of Europe as a socially relevant object of study emerged in the social sciences challenging the model of Europe as historical entity, or a philosophical or literary concept. This concept provoked an upsurge of interest in the study of European identity among anthropologists who began to study how Europeanness is constructed and articulated both by the architects of the EU themselves and at a grass-root level. Drawing on notions of European culture and identity, this text examines the image of Europe/the EU in post-communist Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, from two different perspectives. First, how the institutionalisation of Europe as a cultural idea is viewed by some of the Czech political commentators, and second, from an ethnographically grounded anthropological perspective, focusing on how and at what levels a Czech local community identifies with Europe and the EU. Drawing on a broad range of data, the text attempts to provide new insights into the pitfalls of collective European identity in the making, with the emphasis on its cultural dimension in the post-communist Czech Republic.
The European Union has been in its biggest ever crisis since the onset of the Greek sovereign debt crisis in 2010. Beyond the political and economic dimensions, the crisis has also sparked discussions about Germany's European identity. Some scholars have argued that Germany's behavior in the crisis signals a continuation of the process of “normalization” of its European identity toward a stronger articulation of national identity and interests, that it has “fallen out of love” with Europe. This article will seek to reassess these claims, drawing on detailed analysis of political and media discourse in Germany—from political speeches through to both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. It will argue that the crisis is understood broadly as a European crisis in Germany, where the original values of European integration are at stake. Furthermore, the crisis is debated through the lens of European solidarity, albeit with a particular German flavor of solidarity that draws on the economic tradition of ordoliberalism. Rather than strengthening expressions of national identity, this has resulted in the emergence of a new northern European identity in contrast to Greece or “southern Europe.”
The Challenge for Europe
Máiréad Nic Craith
Heritage has traditionally been associated with material objects, but recent conventions have emphasized the significance of intangible culture heritage. This article advocates a holistic approach towards the concept and considers key challenges for Europe's heritage at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Reflecting on the notion of 'European', it considers the question of how one defines European heritage and which European heritage is to be protected. It explores links between national and European conceptions of identity and heritage and queries issues of ownership, language and representation. A number of ethical issues are raised - such as the role of women in the transmission of heritage and the implications of information technology for copywriting traditional practices. The author also asks how one ensures that the process of globalisation facilitates rather than eliminates local cultural heritages? How does one enhance the local so that it becomes glocal and not obsolete?
Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus, and Katja Mäkinen
people could build their European identity. 1 The recently launched EU heritage initiatives, projects, and policies can be perceived as the EU's attempt to tackle some of these current challenges and crises, including European “identity crises” and the
The Political Climate in Pausewang's Novel Die Wolke (1987) and Anike Hage's Manga Adaptation (2013)
Sean A. McPhail
cultural differences is instrumental to … develop[ing] a common European identity across national borders’. 53 This way, at least before the recent surge in nationalist parties throughout Europe, there existed a perception that such differences could no
Right-wing populist, nationalist and extremist groups frequently make discursive use of the past to support their political agenda. This contribution briefly examines the use of the 1683 Siege of Vienna in political discourses. It shows how certain parts of European heritage are mobilised globally to present a singular view of European identity as white and Christian. This identity is constructed in opposition to a Muslim and migrant ‘other’. The contribution shows that this notion of European identity is used not as a call for European unity, but to serve nationalistic needs when utilised by far-right groups. Moreover, this piece calls for greater recognition of how heritages are mobilised across borders in the interests of advancing a politics of exclusion and division.
Mary N. Hampton
This article analyzes the differences in U.S., EU, and German perceptions of threat. The secularist and cosmopolitan turns in EU European identity formation have had a tremendous impact on how security issues are interpreted, especially in Germany. The traditional conception of threat has been re-defined. Yet, recent events are threatening the success forged through a half century of EU elite-driven culture change. Renationalization and a return to defining threat as fear of strangers have emerged across the EU.