London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Constructing European Identities

Author(s) Ross, A.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2008  
Editor A. Ross & P. Cunningham, Reflecting on Identities: Research, Practice and Innovation  
Age group -  
This paper considers the changing nature of European identities, suggesting four key aspects developed over history. These include the development of the barbarian other, the conflicts between Latin, Orthodox and Muslim hegemonies, the development of concepts of nation, colonialism and empire, and the resulting conflicts that shattered the continent. Contemporary European identities, in contrast, use the idea of the past as ‘the other’, and are based on a celebration of diversity that requires tolerance and a unifying focus on the promotion and expansion of human rights. The keynote paper particularly addressed the contribution of Islam to European identity, and events centred on the city of Istanbul: it was delivered on the 555th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople/ establishment of Istanbul.

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