The point of departure of this project is that a good part of the present deficit of legitimacy of European institutions emerges from a deeply ahistoric view of Europe s past. Consequently, there is an urgent need for a more realistic history that rejects any teleological understanding of Europe as a self-propelling project on steady march towards a predetermined goal. The fragility of European peace and progress needs to be highlighted. The theoretical foundation of Europe in teleological modernisation and globalisation theories has lead to a-historical understandings of Europe s past that disturb our ability to plan for its future. Our realistic outline of Europe s past focuses on the century 1815-1914, which was the pre-war historical ground on which the peace of 1945 and our present conception of Europe were built. It testifies at least as much to conflict and fragility as to progress. The century is traversed by a series of tensions in the political, cultural, social, economic and legal fields and struggles between the protagonists of different conceptions of European modernity. The legal and political basis for a new European order established in the Vienna Treaty, called the European concert, opened an era that lasted until 1914 in which wars in Europe decreased, whereas the number of civil wars increased and the Revolution came to no end. The tensions were articulated in different geopolitical strategies, constitutional conceptions, prescriptions for economic efficiency and claims for social protection, and alternating views of the meaning of Europe. In one way or the other, they all dealt with the interactive dynamics between politics and law, nationally as well as internationally. These interactive dynamics were also visible in the permanent movement between search for and expectations of stability and experiences of fragility. The aim is to explore the tensions in deep detail and on that basis build an alternative historical view on Europe.
Field of science
- /social sciences/sociology/globalization
- /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/philosophy/metaphysics/teleology
- /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/philosophy/political philosophy
Call for proposal
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