Fragmentation and Fusion inside European Studies

    • IMG_6985
    • Presentation speakers
      • Nevena Dakovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia

    The aim of this paper is to map out the impact of the crises of Europe on the restructuring of the European Studies. I would like to claim that the crises manifested also as the increasing threat of EU fragmentation or break-up is paralleled by the similar de- and re-construction of the European Studies. Initially defined – in number of documents of the Council of Europe-as inter and transdisciplinary by nature; concerned with supranational, intergovernmental and transnational; outlined as “comparative study of the historical, political, economic, legal, social, intellectual and cultural development of European societies” ES are now in transformation according to vested changing concepts of Europe. The paper identifies two main trends:
    a) global reconceptualization of the field through conflicting trends of fragmentation and fusion. ES are conceived as the spontaneous outcome and consequence of the emerging and united Europe-diversified and multiperspective analysis of an almost “organic entity”. Today ES act more as umbrella term, framework for rather loosely cohering various regional (supra and post national) studies founded primarily with the intention of filling the identity void of the countries in transition or national fragmentation. The “peace meal” model simultaneously conform to the trend of widening concept of Europe as to include limina of the Mediterranean basin (North Africa, Israel) which specific studies are sometimes close to Postcolonial models.
    b) changing relations of the ES constitutive domains. The alternative to the dominant model of “big doctrine” – uncritical assimilation of the analytical protocols and theories of the West in the East etc.- is the reconstruction of various CE, SEE, Balkan…Studies as return to the older model of regional as primarily cultural studies (evolution from language/ literary to other studies).
    Only afterwards the emphasis is moved from cultural (identity) to geopolitical, historical or economic perspectives.