278 Pages
    by Routledge

    278 Pages
    by Routledge

    This authoritative yet accessible introduction to understanding Europe today moves beyond accounts of European integration to provide a wide-ranging and nuanced study of contemporary Europe and its historical development. This fully updated edition adds material on recent developments, such as Brexit and the migrant and Eurozone crises.

    The concept of Europe is instilled with a plethora of social, cultural, economic, and political meanings. Throughout history, and still today, scholars writing on Europe, and politicians involved in national or European politics, often disagree on the geographic limits of this space and the defining elements of Europe. Europe is, therefore, first and foremost a concept that takes different shapes and meanings depending on the realm of life on which it is applied and on the historical period under investigation. At a given point in time, depending on the perspective we adopt and the situation in which we find ourselves, Europe may represent very different things. Thus, we should better talk about ‘Europes’ in plural. What is Europe? explores these evolving conceptions of Europe from antiquity to the present. This book is all the more timely as Europe responds to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Britain’s departure from the European Union, financial slump, refugee emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This book offers a fully updated introduction to European studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is a crucial companion to any undergraduate or graduate course on Europe and the European Union.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    1. What is Europe? An Introduction

    Why ask the question?

    Defining Europe

    2. The Changing Shape of Europe

    The changing shape of Europe in history

    Does Europe make history?

    Europe and power

    3. Visions of a United Europe

    What visions has Europe stirred?

    Why unify Europe?

    Twentieth-century Europe: war and peace

    Europe: institutions and integration

    Enlarging the club – how far?

    From ‘how to unify Europe’ to ‘what kind of Europe’ and ‘how much Europe’ do we want

    4. Cultural Europe

    Defining culture

    The building blocks of European culture

    ‘First among equals’, Europe and the ‘Others’

    Europe’s most distinctive cultural cleavages

    When an aspirational vision of Europe became a dominant cultural narrative

    5. European Identity – European Identities

    What is identity?

    European identity and national identity

    Class and nation within European identity

    Diversity as identity

    European identity and racism

    Religion, European identity, and the Muslim ‘Other’

    6. The Borders and Boundaries of Europe

    Why do borders matter? And where does Europe end?

    The rise and fall (and rise again) of borders

    Changing Europe and its borders

    Europe as fortress, with gateways and migrants

    7. Political Europe

    Politics and political cleavages

    Europe’s political systems

    Values, ideologies, and main political currents

    The political legacies of Europe

    European politics transformed and contested

    8. The Social Dimensions of Europe

    The historical, cultural, and socio-economic foundations of social protection

    The transition to the post-industrial phase in Europe

    Diversity and welfare state legitimacy

    European social model(s)

    The EU’s social dimension

    9. Global Europe

    Europe in world politics, from then to now

    The Cold War and the emergence of Europe

    What sort of power is the EU?

    The EU as a normative power

    Europe as a security actor

    The EU and global trade

    And how do others see Europe as a global actor?

    10. Europe is…

    The historical viewpoint

    Projects and visions of Europe

    The cultural dimension of Europe

    A European identity or an identification with Europe

    Ideological and geographical borders

    The European political landscape

    A European social model

    Geopolitical Europe


    Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Canada. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the governance of migration and asylum; nationalism and identity issues; and overall, the contemporary challenges of migration and integration across different world regions. Her authored books include Rethinking Migration and Return in Southeastern Europe (with E. Gemi, Routledge, 2021), Migrant Smuggling (with T. Maroukis, 2012), and Immigrants and National Identity in Europe (Routledge 2001). She recently edited a volume on Migration and Pandemics (2022, Springer). Her recent journal publications have appeared in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2022), Environment and Planning A: Economy and Society (2022), Ethnicities (2022), International Migration (2021), and Nations and Nationalism (2020).

    Ruby Gropas is Visiting Professor in European Studies at the College of Europe at Bruges, Belgium, and works on social and economic issues in the European Commission. Her research focuses on various aspects of European integration, migration, foreign policy, and fundamental rights. She is author of Human Rights & Foreign Policy: The Case of the European Union (Sakkoulas, 2006), co-editor of The Greek Crisis and European Modernity (Palgrave, 2013) and European Immigration: A Sourcebook (Second Edition, Routledge, 2014), and has numerous journal publications. She writes in her personal capacity and the views do not express the official opinion of the European Commission.