Working Paper Series
Ambivalences of Europeanization. Modernity and Europe in Perspective
This working paper aims to reformulate the teleological concepts of Europeanization by relating them to modernity’s ambivalences, which seems necessary for two reasons. First, both the number and the scope of crises in European politics and societies have increased considerably in the last two decades. Second, and more importantly, the project of European integration has changed its status from being a potential problem solver to being a part of the problem. The paper establishes a broader historical perspective than is usual in most projects on Europeanization. It argues that crises and drawbacks have been a part of European societal and political development during most periods of European history. One reason has been the purely European strategy of colonialism, which was used as a mechanism to outsource the negative consequences of modernity to places outside of Europe and to peripheral locations within Europe. By including historical and postcolonial perspectives on contemporary Europeanization, we argue that Europe and modernity are not characterized by teleological progress but rather engender ambivalent and entangled developments.
Keywords: Europe; Modernity; Europeanization; EU; Ambivalences