These Are Those That Faustus Most Desires: Identity, Iconography and ‘Europe’ in the Crimea Crisis

Journal of Contemporary European Research. 2018;14(4):310-323 DOI 10.30950/jcer.v14i4.1039


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Contemporary European Research

ISSN: 1815-347X (Print)

Publisher: UACES

Society/Institution: UACES

LCC Subject Category: Political science | Social Sciences

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Russell Foster


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 26 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Since the inception of the European Coal and Steel Community in the late 1940s, leaders of the European Union have sought a common identity which transcends nation-states. Recent events such as Euromaidan, Brexit, and an ongoing shift towards eurosceptic populism in the EU are focusing attention on this ‘Gospel of Jacques Delors’ and how a “European identity” is expressed. Significant in studies of Europeanness is the role of symbols that express a myth of Europe. Manifestations of this myth have looked backwards to an imagined teleology of European unity in which all Europeans were united regardless of geopolitical divisions, particularly since the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. However, events in Ukraine have demonstrated not only public rejections of the myth of European unity, but also the use of the EU’s symbolism to construct an ‘alter-Europe’ defined by opposition to the EU. This overt use of iconography and iconoclasm to express political identities and affiliations challenges traditional interpretations of how the EU is received by its neighbours, and illustrates that there are multiple, competing versions of “Europe”.