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1989, the 'others' of Europe and some implications for a political Europe

1989, die "Anderen" Europas und einige Implikationen für ein politisches Europa
[working paper]

Challand, Benoît

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Abstract An enlarged EU might be structurally integrated, but the ways in which pre-1989 EU members used to imagine their counterparts during the Cold War period have profoundly influenced the ways in which 'east' Europe has been and still is thought nowadays (hence the remaining ideational divergences within a political Europe). The paper argues that European construction and pos-1989 enlargement of the EU towards East imply a form of subtle and untold domination of the Western part of the continent subtlety and at times unconsciously by institutions of the EU or by academic discourses on Central and Eastern Europe. Such domination, as an unintended consequence, is best explored on the ideational level and through the central role that 1989 has taken in this process. Discussing slope-metaphors and allochronisms in the field of a European common memory, this paper shows how artificial distances are created between Eastern and Western Europe. By combining allochronism and heteronomy, we have coined the new term of 'heterochrony' to express the situation in which a given group does not have the capacity of choosing its own laws and the cognitive means to think of itself and where such situation is due to reasons of different time location (in that case in a backward situation) than other autonomous groups. Such heterochrony might lead to a halt of transnational cooperation in Europe and have negative impacts on the self-perception of Europe.
Keywords Europe; European Policy; European integration; eastwards expansion; political culture; Eastern Europe; political change; transformation; reunification; national identity; political power; EU
Classification European Politics
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords European identity; European memory; symbolic other; othering process; 1989; path-dependency; neo-institutionalism; allochronism; heterochrony; Western Europe; Central and Eastern Europe; history; self-understanding of Europe
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
City Berlin
Page/Pages 16 p.
Series Working Paper Series of the Research Network 1989, 14
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works