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Reflections on Europe

Defining a Political Order in Time and Space


Hans-Åke Persson and Bo Stråth

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.
Contents: Hans-Åke Persson/Bo Stråth: Preface – Hans-Åke Persson/Bo Stråth: Time and Space. Introduction to Reflections on Europe as a Political Order – Jürgen Kocka: The Mapping of Europe’s Borders. Past, Present and Future – Martin van Gelderen: Universal Monarchy, the Rights of War and Peace and the Balance of Power. Europe’s Quest for Civil Order – Peter Wagner: Reflections on the Changing Forms of European Political Modernity – Katiana Orluc: Caught between Past and Future. The Idea of Pan-Europe in the InterWar Years – Sophie Huber: Europe in the American Mirror. Problems and Possibilities of an Atlantic European Political Order – Bo Stråth: The Political, the Social and the Economic in a European Political Order – Vivienne Boon/Gerard Delanty: Europe and Its Histories. A Cosmopolitan Perspective – Hagen Schulz-Forberg: The EU and the European Public Sphere. A Historical Reflection on a Current Issue – Fania Oz-Salzberger: Europe, Rivers and Trams: Reflections of an Ex-European – Almut Höfert: ‘Europe’ and ‘Religion’ in the Framework of Sixteenth-Century Relations between Christian Powers and the Ottoman Empire – Kristina Stöckl: The Orthodox and the Modern. European Vicinities over Time and Space – Ulla Holm: EU’s Southern ‘Others’ over Space and Time. From Partners to Neighbours – Francesca Lacaita: European Borders. Changing Functions and Meanings – Zoe Bray: Europe as Living Boundaries. The Case of the Basque Country – Hans-Åke Persson: From German Schönwitz to Polish Karczów. A Journey through European Space and Time – Aziz Al-Azmeh: Epilogue. Romancing the Prose of the World.