When Dutch and subsequently French voters rejected the Draft Treaty for a Constitution for Europe in Spring 2005, many voices called for a pause for reflection. This book is, in part, a result of that moment of reflection. We wanted to contribute to the debate about Europe but crucially, we sought to do so by taking a step back from the problem formation and agenda-setting of Brussels. For the authors of this volume, one key to establishing critical distance has been the reappraisal of the historical perspective. Another has been the problematisation of ‘Europe as a space’ as opposed to looking for a definition of borders. The authors also seek critical distance through a focus on the tension between Europe as a culture, as a polity and as an economy. These tensions have often been neglected or even ignored and the relationships have been seen as more or less synonymous and harmonious. The aim of this volume, then, is two-fold. It wants, developing a critical distance to the present Europe, to contribute to the vivid academic research and debate on Europe, which too often either develops distance without commenting on the present state of affairs or comments on the present without critical distance.