Inventing Europe: idea, identity, reality. Front Cover. Gerard Delanty. Macmillan, – History – Bibliographic information. QR code for Inventing Europe. I{ETlllNKlNC IRTSH HISTORy (with patrick O’Mahony). Inventing Europe. Idea, Identity, Reality. Gerard Delanty. Senior Lěcrurer in Sociology. U niversity of Liver . Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke,

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Europe slowly ceased to be merely a geographi- cal expression and came to denote a cultural unity that referred to the territo- ries under Carolingian rule as opposed to those under Byzantine authority. The encounter of Roman civilisation with the Orient did not always amount to the same clash of cultures that resulted when the Romans annexed Europe north of the Alps. The equation of the idea of Europe with political identity-building pro- jects has resulted in a distorted idea of Europe.

The task of the sociologist is to inquire into the process by which realities are constructed out of ideas and to demystify the power of symbolic names; to disentangle the complex web of interconnections by which identities become linked to relations of power. Oct 31, Ann Saks added it. Europe did not encompass what we associate with it today.

Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality

Europe, Asia and Africa. The concept of a universal Church was thus preserved in its heir, Europe, which espoused a secular ideology of progress and a philosophy of history.

At about this time the idea ofEurope began to replace Christendom as inventng cul- tural frame of reference for the construction of new forms of identification. What is real is the discourse in which ideas and identities arc formed and historical realities constituted.


Full text of “[ Gerard Delanty] Inventing Europe “

The Islamic invasions along with the barbarian and Persian invasions gave a sense of a European identity to Christendom which served as a bulwark against the non-Christian world. The difference is that in the case of the idea o f Europe iUs thernystique of civilisationjhat is cultivated and reinforced by myths of high culture. But this early division did not reHect the later civilisations of Orient and Europe.

Jl can be seen the emblem and central organising metaphor of a complex civilisation.

Yet, even these suffer from a lack of contemporary relevance and inventkng tend to be uncriti- cal. In his reflections on the nature of kinship in The Politicspp. As a cultural durope it is not in itself a normative postulate. Delanty argues that Europe must now throw off nationalist individualism and embrace the cosmopolitan.

The new dichotomy would therefore be one of Christians versus barbarians, and the hallmark of civili- sation came to be membership of the Christian oecumene, the ‘civilised’ world.

However, when cultural ideas invebting part of political-identity building processes they can become ideologies. When we contemplate the vast range of books, monographs and political manifestos that all bear the word Europe in their titles, it is difficult to deny that there is an element of mystification in the idea of Europe.

For many Europeans unity is a cherished goal only so long as it is unattainable; or, indeed, as a strategy toenhance social exclusion or to strength- en the power of the centre over the periphery. Underlying this are unifying narratives of origin and des- tiny. Open Preview See a Problem?


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 ofSelFand Other. Asia was in effect pushed eastwards beyond Pcrs ia after the conquests of Alexander Baldry, pp. Christianity effectively took over the ancient inventint of the barbarian and applied it to non-Christians. At about this time the earlier twofold division of the world between Asia and Europe, or Persia and Greece, gave way delanhy a threefold division: Europe— Politics and government.

Scholarly and Reference Rooks Division St. It was a siege mentality, an identity born in defeat, not in victory. The Shifting Frontier 48 5.

Inventing Europe – Gerard Delanty – Google Books

Instead of identity being defined hy a sense of belongingness and solidarity arising out of shared life- worlds, it becomes focused on opposition to an Other: As a phjlbsophy prhistory. The official and codified version of European culture has nothing to say r to the silent Europe of minorities. It is written in the spirit of a radical inter- vention into the debate on a European identity and the attempt to fashion an artificial identity out of what should perhaps be best left as a cultural idea.