The dialogic relationship between individuals and the cultural space of Europe embodies cultural definitions, political definitions and individual definitions. As individuals draw from Europe as a cultural space and strive to identify and define themselves, definitions are created against an “other,” leading to Europe being defined against the “other.” Identity is established through difference, and in this, the relationship between the EU—a force of integration—and Europe as a cultural space is strained. As boundaries change through the European Union, transforming the cultural space of Europe, the “other” against whom individuals have traditionally defined themselves is also transforming. This article asks if the integration of Europe through the European Union is resulting in the political mobilization of xenophobia and thereby transforming the cultural space of Europe into a xenophobic space. As many academics and professionals have argued that xenophobia in Europe has been on the rise since the 1990s, this paper will question how the relationship between the European Union—as a force of European integration—and Europe—as a cultural space—is contributing to the construction of xenophobia
Keywords Europe  European Union  Xenophobia  Cultural space  Racism  Nationalism  Borders  Identity  Immigration  Fortress Europe  Semiotics of law  Semiotics of culture
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-010-9187-4
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