In the image of Kronos or how Europe is devouring itself: The iconological construction of EUropean identity, its geopolitical implications for the project of European integration and why it needs to be re-imagined
[S.l.] : [S.l. : s.n.]
Number of pages
xxvi, 297 p.
Radboud University, 13 november 2020
Promotores : Houtum, H.J. van, Lagendijk, A.
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SubjectInstitute for Management Research
This dissertation examines the meaning of contemporary EUropean identity against a backdrop of formidable geopolitical challenges: the “war on terror”, mushrooming global turmoil and increased migration to the EU; longstanding colonial anxieties about non-Europeans and imperial nostalgia for EUrope’s decreasing global clout; a chronic decline in EUropean and global prosperity being exploited by xenophobic populists of all stripes to promote ethno-exclusionary authoritarianism. Through an archaeology of images, texts and practices, this work traces a genealogy of contemporary EUropean identity to understand the mechanisms that have constructed “the idea of Europe” as a congruent and self-contained civilisation. These historical developments and their contemporary impact on global geopolitics are analysed through the representations that have progressively put together an “image of Europe” and, as a necessary counterpart, of its Others—i.e., the non-Europeans. Throughout its chapters, an analysis of the interaction among world travel, global trade and military adventurism casts light on the foundations of both “the modern world” and the most daunting contemporary challenges. Emphasis is placed on the migration and mutation of images that have constructed a particular European political myth characterised by a recurrent and stridently ambiguous historical paradox: the incomparable wealth and knowledge that European metropoles have built upon the unparalleled barbarism and global cruelty perpetrated by their imperial enterprises made their way back to Europe in the form of the most catastrophic wars the continent has ever suffered. This work suggests the concept of cartopolitics to define the imaginary cartographic taxonomies and geopolitical hierarchies that derive from a European hegemonic notion of the world’s entire political geography. Overall, this is a modest attempt at interpreting maps to analyse how Europe has shaped the modern world, how the world has built modern Europe and how maps have been privileged witnesses to a tormented marriage of representation and power.
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