What is Europe?  book cover
2nd Edition

What is Europe?

ISBN 9781032243948
Published October 7, 2022 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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.