Interdisciplinary Contributions to Contemporary Cultural Debates
Edited By Gail K. Hart and Anke S. Biendarra
Ceci n’est pas un manifeste—Envisioning Europe and European Studies
John H. Smith
“We wanted to present a possible vision of the future of Europe.” – “Wir wollten eine mögliche Vision der Zukunft Europas zeigen.”
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Interview, 71
“We don’t seem to have time for the further development of democracy, for solidarity and visions for this [new] Europe, in brief, for ‘Eurovisions.’” – “Wir scheinen keine Zeit für die Weiterentwicklung von Demokratie, für Solidarität und Visionen für dieses Europa, kurz gefasst – für ‚Eurovisionen‘ – zu haben.”
Oskar Negt, Interview
How do we “see” Europe? In what genre do we write down those visions? Beginning in 2009 in the wake of the euro crisis, a sizable number of manifestos—explicitly so called or implicitly serving that literary and political function—have appeared that attempt to give a “vision of Europe.” Some (e.g., Jürgen Habermas’) are consciously downplayed in the form of essays, although they, too, respond to “the lack of a broader perspective” of what Europe should be (Habermas 41). Small books like Ulrich Beck’s have also been accompanied by Internet manifestos (“We are Europe”). They offer both explanations of the crisis’s origin and prescriptions for future action, parsing out blame variably to neoliberalism, the financial sector, the national governments (particularly Angela Merkel’s Germany), the parties on the right or left, the European Union itself (“Brussels”), and other major and minor actors.
About the same time, in a distant part of the...
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