‘Europe’: What Kind of Idea?

The European Legacy 14 (2):163-176 (2009)

Abstract
Salman Rushdie posed the question, ?What kind of idea are you?? We have borrowed his provoking question and held it up to ?Europe.? In this article, we suggest that ?Europe? cannot be primarily identified or located in terms of geographies, histories, religions, cultures or values, and that attempts to do so diminish the idea of ?Europe.? We also contest the vision of ?Europe? as a series of concentric circles emanating from Brussels and suggest that this conception indefensibly marginalizes vital portions of ?Europe.? We propose that, while the European Union (EU) is attempting to define core concepts of ?Europe,? ?Europe's? frontiers and borders (wherever or whatever they may be, inside or outside ?Europe?) are actively constructing, contesting and resisting ?Europe.? The peripheries and perimeters are no less important than the core. On the contrary, they give substance to the idea of ?Europe.? Finally, we argue that ?Europe? can best be understood as a non-teleological construct, a narrative à la Roland Barthes. Inspired by Barthes, we propose a ?Europe? Theory of Classification operating at the levels of functions, actions and narration
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DOI 10.1080/10848770902761025
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References found in this work BETA

Did Europe Exist Before 1700?Peter Burke - 1980 - History of European Ideas 1 (1):21-29.
Europe Revisited: 1979.Denys Hay - 1980 - History of European Ideas 1 (1):1-6.
Afterword.[author unknown] - 2007 - Mediaevalia 28 (s):187-188.

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