This book is about how every age invented the idea of Europe in the mirror of its own identity: Europe is as much an idea as it is a reality, but it is also a contested idea and it was in adversity that European identity was constructed as a dichotomy of Self and Other. The book analyses the origins and development of the idea of Europe as a social construction from the earliest times to the present. Its challenging thesis is that the European idea has lent itself to a politics of division and exclusion, which has been disguised by superficial notions of unity.
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