Colonialism: Transimperial Cooperation and the European Idea (1880-1914)

Christian Methfessel and Florian Wagner Introduction Transimperial cooperation was the norm, rather than the exception in colonial history between the 1880s and 1914. European powers who conquered the world during this period were certainly rivals, but ultimately cooperated to uphold colonial domination and colonial rule. More importantly, the colonised did not respect imperial borders, and in crossing them, provoked transimperial reactions and coalitions. Anti-colonial movements, in particular, transgressed imperial borders to organise resistance. At the same time, anti-colonialists blamed Europeans for working together in organizing colonial domination and exploitation. Long before postcolonial theory exposed the uniformity of Western colonialism, the …

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Ideas of Europe within the ‘New Right’: The Case of Germany

Florian Greiner and Tobias Meßmer Introduction Today, the united Europe of the EU is generally associated with principles of liberal democracy but, historically speaking, this was by no means always the case: until the second half of the twentieth century, many conceptions of Europe exhibited traits that were authoritarian, anti-democratic, racist, hegemonic, and nationalistic. While these came into disrepute after 1945, numerous concepts and notions about Europe that build on these older traditions can still be found on the extreme political right, especially in recent years. These range from straightforward criticism of the EU to more positive attitudes towards Europe, …

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Towards a Cultural-Historical Theory of European Integration

Peter Pichler Introduction When we speak of European integration, we usually refer to the European Union (Wiener et.al., 2019). Yet, cultural-historically, this is only half the story. As Kiran Klaus Patel has emphasised (Patel 2013, 2018), the EU (and its predecessors) has been one organisation of European integration among many, such as the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Patel’s narrative of ‘provincialising European union’ (Patel 2013) provides a new perspective as it describes the EU as a contested entity in a pluralistic spectrum of historically varying …

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Mitteleuropa / Central Europe (1980s)

Florian Greiner Introduction The notion of Central Europe as an interconnected space is one of the oldest and most controversial European ideas. The term does not denote a set geographical entity but represents a political and cultural construct interpreted by Europeans in different ways at different times. For this reason, it seems more appropriate to use the German term Mitteleuropa with its strong political overtones, since historically, Mitteleuropa – in its various manifestations – has usually described a more or less pronounced German claim to power in certain parts of Europe (Le Rider 1994). This article analyzes the conditions and circumstances underlying the renaissance …

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