The Handbook promotes the increasing diversity of perspectives employed in the study of contemporary Europe and EU integration is situated in the context of Europe’s transformations. It offers balanced coverage of political, social, economic, cultural and institutional dimensions of Europe. It includes chapters by many leading authorities: Beck, Calhoun, della Porta, Offe, Paasi, Rosamund and Tilly. Multi-disciplinary in organization, inclusive in coverage, and cutting-edge in scope, the Handbook is a landmark resource for anyone interested in European Studies.
Chapter 5: Postcolonial Europe, or Understanding Europe in Times of the Postcolonial
Postcolonial Europe, or Understanding Europe in Times of the Postcolonial
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 ...