EUrope – History, Violence and “Peripheries”

Hartmut Behr


The idea and study of international society can be applied empirically to Europe and the Europe Union (EU), with a significant overlap between the idea of Europe and the EU being symbolized as EUrope. As the example of EUrope demonstrates, the development of international society genuinely depends upon violence in its peripheries, in EUrope’s case exemplified by colonialism and imperialism of European states: states of which most are now core members of the European Union, but until only some 50 years ago have been fierce and violent colonizers of the world. As such, the study of Europe and the EU is ontologically linked to the study of colonialism and post-colonialism what founds and necessitates epistemologically an historical and comparative approach. The refusal of this ontology and epistemology may enable to study internal policy processes, but would remain within self-centric and solipsistic foci on the European ‘Self’ and would thus block systematically all attempts to interrelate the EU to the world. Such a refusal would further render it impossible to envision the EU as an international or even global actor conducting policies other than hegemonic and paternalistic (even if self-understood as benevolent).

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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