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Gurminder K. Bhambra

In: The SAGE Handbook of European Studies

Chapter 5: Postcolonial Europe, or Understanding Europe in Times of the Postcolonial

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Postcolonial Europe, or Understanding Europe in Times of the Postcolonial
Postcolonial Europe, or understanding Europe in times of the postcolonial
Introduction

A line from Daljit Nagra's poem, ‘The Man Who Would be English!’, captures well the problem of identity in contemporary Europe, a Europe of dominant and minority voices: ‘I was one of us, at ease, so long as I passed my voice into theirs’ (2007: 15).

Defining Europe, as with any project of identity construction, is necessarily a political and contested exercise. From historical understandings of Europe as coterminous with Christendom, to later understandings emphasizing its secularization, to contemporary questions of European identity in the context of EU expansion and consolidation, culminating in anxieties regarding the integration of postcommunist Eastern Europe and secular Turkey with its predominantly ...

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