IW05
European unification: anthropological perspectives

Convenors:
Irène Bellier (CNRS)
Cris Shore (Goldsmiths)
Chair:
Cris Shore and Irène Bellier
Discussant:
Andy Dawson
Location:
Chem LT2
Start time:
19 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

What is European unification and how should we conceptualise it? What can anthropology contribute to our understanding of the EU, the process of Europeanisation and the implications of European integration?

Long abstract:

European unification is a project increasingly associated with the European Union and its policies for creating ever closer union among the peoples of Europe. However, the integration of European societies and the spread of European culture are processes that have followed a much longer historical trajectory, one whose roots lie in the legacies of colonialism, commerce and travel. Yet the same forces of modernity that gave birth to Europe's nation states and industrial society also contain economic imperatives that are undermining the coherence of that fragile European order. This workshop explores the concept of European unification from various anthropological/historical perspectives. In particular, it seeks to analyse those processes that contribute to integration and opposition in contemporary Europe. Among the questions/themes addressed are the following: 1. What is European unification and how should we analyse it? What can anthropology contribute to our understanding of the European Union and wider processes of Europeanisation? European unity as a model; Concepts of Europeanisation; Cultural dimensions of EU Enlargement 2. What are the boundaries of European society? Does Europe constitute a coherent cultural area? Mapping European culture; Ideas of Europeaness 3. What implications does European unification have for Europe and beyond? EU relations with the US and the developing world; Defence and foreign policy; Europe as a global actor 4. Commerce and colonialism were key elements that shaped 19th and 20th century Europe. How are trade, globalisation and post-colonialism reshaping the map of contemporary Europe? Branding Europe; Transnationals and cosmopolitans in the new Europe; Postcolonial orders/disorders 5. What role do technologies play in the creation of Europe? Transport and communications; Technology zones; Regulation and standardisation; Technologies of citizenship.