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The Meaning of Europe

variety and contention within and among nations


Description

Mention the word Europe in today's society and you are greeted with a range of responses, from impassioned debate, to scepticism and outright hostility. Yet long before the emergence of the modern European Union, the concept of Europe played a vital role in the creation of national identity. This book considers the wealth of contemporary and historical attitudes towards Europe and how these vary both within and between nation-states. Why are some countries 'Europhiles' whilst others are 'Europhobic'? How has Europe alternately been perceived as a threat to local culture and identity or as the core of nation-building? Why are individual responses to Europe so diverse? Comparing and contrasting experiences from twelve very different countries, the authors explore the multitude of ways in which established national discourses are reconciled with an emerging identity within the EU. In doing so, this book makes an important contribution to what has proved to be one of the most controversial and heated debates of our time.