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Rethinking Europe by Chris Rumford, Gerard Delanty

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2    History, modernity, and the multiple conceptions of Europe

European transformation in historical perspective

For over 100 years the question has been asked again and again as to the cultural form of Europe.1 What is Europe? Is there an underlying European idea from which politics might be grounded? The answer to such questions partly depends on who asks the question and how they view history. Every age has constructed Europe in response to the concerns of the present situation. But this invented nature of Europe does not mean it is only a construction of discourse and ideology; it is also a site of cultural contestation and political possibility.

Originally the question of Europe arose in the sixteenth century in the context of threats ...

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