This panel scrutinizes the utopian/dystopian projections, myths and narratives of "Europe" at the core, the periphery and beyond the margins. We seek to uncover imaginaries that cross-cut this discursive space and simultaneously yield practical and tangible consequences for individual actors.
"Europe" has become a focal point for definitions of concepts such as "modernity" and "civilization", and it is also often held synonymous with notions such as "soulless bureaucracy", "gated community", "space of anxiety", and "island of the privileged". Today, European political and economic unity seems to be unfolding in parallel realities which occasionally intertwine in unexpected ways: from the intricate practices of officials within Brussels' European Quarter to the rise of Euro-sceptic parties, from crisis-ridden societies of Southern Europe to the deadly plights of migrants and asylum seekers. In this panel, we scrutinize the various ways in which "Europe" functions as a template for utopian/dystopian projections and imaginaries at the core, the periphery and beyond the margins. In order to avoid a sense of "geographic egoism" (cf. Maxwell 2011), which is present even in the critical theoretical approaches, we seek to open the dialogue between these multiple perspectives. We intend to focus both on hierarchies which create divisions within Europe as well as power asymmetries which arise in core/periphery relations. We seek to uncover utopian/dystopian imaginaries that cross-cut this discursive space and simultaneously yield practical and tangible consequences for individual actors. What is the future of the European imaginary?