Desafíos (Apr 2010)

La construcción de la idea europea: la perspectiva histórico-cultural. más allá de la 'identidad'

  • Constanza E. Trujillo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 0
pp. 64 – 93


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This article explores the idea of Europe in order to show that it is defined not by “identity” as a result or product of history, geography or economic factors, but by a set of partially random factors that have gradually shaped the idea over time. The cultural approach to Europe’s characteristics (in this case historical-anthropological) starts by analyzing the idea of Europe from its origins as an amalgam of Cretan, Phoenician, Egyptian and other cultures, which later absorbed Greek and Roman contributions and thinking, followed by the attempts by Charlemagne and Charles V to unify Europe, and culminating in the modernday European Union. The symbolic and historical structures that have shaped the idea of Europe have taken a variety of different forms. Furthermore, the author concludes that Europe cannot be defined in terms of a fixed “identity” that must be protected from external cultural interference at all costs. On the contrary, it is a socio-historical process or “configuration” which, in future enlargements, will allow countries that formerly could not aspire to become members of the European Union to become future members. This applies especially to Turkey and the Ukraine.