The Idea of Europe

The Idea of Europe

A Critical History

Author(s): Shane Weller
Publication Date: 03-06-2021

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There is an increasingly widespread sense that Europe is in crisis. Notions of a shared European identity and a common European culture appear to be losing their purchase. This crisis is often seen as a conflict between a cosmopolitan and a nationalist idea of Europe. The reality is, however, considerably more complex, as the long history of the idea of Europe reveals. In The Idea of Europe: A Critical History, Shane Weller explores that history from its origins in classical antiquity to the present day. Drawing on a wide range of sources, he demonstrates that, all too often, seemingly progressive ideas of Europe have been shaped by Eurocentric, culturally supremacist, and even racist assumptions. Seeking to break with this troubling pattern, Weller calls for an idea of Europe shaped by a spirit of self-critique and by an openness to those cultures that have for so long been dismissed as non-European.

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