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Many Europes: Rethinking multiplicity William Biebuyck and Chris Rumford European Journal of Social Theory 2012 15: 3 originally published online 8 November 2011 DOI: 10.1177/1368431011423567 The online version of this article can be found at: http://est.sagepub.com/content/15/1/3

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Article

Many Europes: Rethinking multiplicity

European Journal of Social Theory 15(1) 3–20 ª The Author(s) 2012 Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1368431011423567 est.sagepub.com

William Biebuyck Carleton University, Canada Chris Rumford University of London, UK

Abstract This article advances a non-reductionist theorization of Europe as ‘multiplicity’. As an object and category of political reality, Europe is made (and re-made) within specific spatio-temporal configurations. For this reason, the first section argues that Europe should be approached as an instance of ‘historical ontology’. This counters a reductionist tendency to ‘fix’ Europe with definitive political and cultural characteristics or historical trajectories. The second and third sections of the article interrogate a few of the ontological ‘lines of flight’ taken by contemporary Europe. The article discusses Europe’s multiplicity through its fields, imaginaries and ways of being in the world. Such a preliminary sketch of European multiplicity is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it suggests a new ethos in the study of European politics that privileges historicism, practice, and Europe’s recursive relationship to the world/globe. Keywords Europe, imaginary, multiplicity, ontology, postwesternization

Introduction: Europe as multiplicity In a recent speech delivered on ‘Europe Day’ (9 May) Michel Barnier – the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market – pleaded a case for deeper political integration within the EU (Castle, 2011). Citing the rise of populist parties that ‘seek to bring an end to the European project’, Barnier argued that only ‘Europe’ can salvage the continent

Corresponding author: William Biebuyck, Department of Political Science, Carleton University, B640 Loeb, Ottawa ON, K1S-5B6, Canada Email: wbiebuyc@connect.carleton.ca

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from the politics of reaction and a protectionist wave that could lead to stagnation within the Single Market. As an antidote to these centrifugal forces, Barnier provides a number of suggestions for what a leap forward in integration must involve. This includes, among other priorities, a proper EU army, a civil defence force, a directly elected EU president, and a common asylum/immigration policy. Increasing cooperation in these areas, argues Barnier, would save Europe from the spectre that now seemingly haunts it: second-class political status. Barnier, of course, is not the first Euro-statesman to directly connect Europe’s political maturity and economic potential to its ability to perpetually increase its institutional and policy links. Figures such as Monnet, Hallstein and Delors saw European integration – in different ways – as an always emerging political-economic telos that would perish if it did not move forward. Or as Weiler aptly puts it: ‘It was and still is common to compare Europe to a bicycle: if it stops moving, it falls. That notion has become pervasive in political culture and practice – one intergovernmental conference after another in a never-ending effort to achieve progress’ (2010: 40). Thus Barnier is mobilizing an older strategy for defending integration, but putting it to use for contemporary problems. Europe, or more accurately the EU, provides the means to counter the rise of a xenophobic populism, address the sovereign debt crises on the edges of the EU economy, and save the proud continent from global marginality. This article is not so concerned with the substantive recommendations of Barnier, or the potential efficacy of his solutions. We wish, rather, to point to how Barnier’s interpretation of ‘Europe’ as something that lives or dies with the EU acts as a form of closure on how Europe can be approached as a ‘multiplicity’. While Barnier is acting in his capacity as an EU Commissioner, the tendency he displays is widespread. This is the tendency to ‘fix’ Europe, to stabilize its meaning, to associate it – above all else – with the values and programmes of the EU. Rather than a site of closure, we contend that Europe needs to be understood as containing elements of ontological creation and transformation. The possibility of ‘opening Europe’ to its many existing forms is captured by Elbe (2003) in his Nietzschean-inspired deconstruction of postwar integration. ‘Nietzsche deliberately refused to articulate a new idea of Europe . . . The whole point of Nietzsche’s ‘‘good Europeans’’ was thus to resist the temptation of drawing up an ideal or identity that Europeans would then be persuaded to internalize’(Elbe, 2003: 90). Similar to Elbe, this article argues that any singular idea, mission, or form articulated in the name of Europe invites forms of intellectual erasure relative to how Europe is actually understood and practised today. But a philosophical critique of a homogenous European meaning or form only takes us so far; at its extreme, deconstruction morphs into paralysis. Europe is, after all, a ‘real’ force, object, subject, and so on. The problem occurs when we approach this force as a singular, vital or reductionist one. To see the diverse ontologies of Europe, we must interrogate the contemporary practices and discourses that go under the heading ‘European politics’. We therefore do not claim Europe is only a text, or just a convenient fiction for power-brokers within the internal market. Rather, Europe is real, but it is also produced in multiples. And while Europe ‘does a lot’, so to speak, there is no singularity to it as a political or cultural form. This is what we intend by calling Europe a ‘multiplicity’. As a multiplicity we are drawn to the fact

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Europe lacks an essence or centre, but is defined by the lines of flight it takes, and the ways these lines of flight are relationally defined: A multiplicity has neither [unitary] subject nor object, only determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature (the laws of combination therefore increase in number as the multiplicity grows) ... Multiplicities are defined by the outside: by the abstract line, the line of flight or deterritorialization according to which they change in nature and connect with other multiplicities. (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987: 8–9)

To conceptualize Europe as a multiplicity requires a certain methodological style towards the object. Here we approach Europe as a type of ‘historical ontology’, rather than a stabilized political reality (Hacking, 2002). Objects, such as Europe, are ‘made’ in particular temporal and spatial settings. They are formed within particular modes of reasoning, by specific agents, and under certain political pressures. As Hacking argues, ‘Concepts have their being in historical sites. The logical relations among them were formed in time, and they cannot be perceived correctly unless their temporal dimensions are kept in view. This dedication to analysis makes use of the past, but it is not history’ (Hacking, 2002: 24–5). Ontological forms are also assembled in relation to other entities operating in the international environment (Parker, 2009). Europe’s multiplicities compete on a plane with other forces; jostling for the privileged networks of meaning and visibility. The remainder of the chapter is dedicated to showing how Europe exists as an historical ontology; a multiplicity variegated in both time and space. There are Europe(s) composed of many meanings, practices, strategies, and subjects, many of which are not found in the articulations of EU Commissioners, or in pivotal treaties of the EU. As a way of demonstrating this European multiplicity, we explore sites of Europe that depict its numerous imaginaries, fields of practice, and ways of being in the world. We do not mobilize these particular sites as a way to pin down a final form or function for Europe. Rather, these sites demonstrate how Europe is an active site of multiple – and often times contradictory – productions and transformations.

Europe’s ‘imaginaries’ and ‘fields’ In the early medieval period, ‘Europe’ did not constitute a natural polity, culture or historical memory (outside a shared polyglot feudal structure and few rudimentary trade networks). ‘Europe’ was but a collection of principalities, statelets, bishoprics, and landed estates collectively situated on the extreme western peninsula of Asia. Writing in the seventh century, Isidore, bishop and scholar of Seville, imagined something different (Sheridan, 2005). Isidore became transfixed with the notion that Europe constituted a common political and cultural order; ‘Europe as a whole to be imagined’ (Sheridan, 2005: 40). Resulting from his conviction was an attempt to write Europe into the historical and scholarly record. In his two most important works – the Etymologies and Sentences – Isidore gathered an array of linguistic, pedagogical, historical, geographic, and even mythical evidence to demonstrate the existence of a ‘European

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tradition’. Isidore’s ordered bricolage did not draw on one tradition alone. It included those of Ancient Greece, Imperial Rome, and Augustinian ideas of a natural earthly order. While writing in the context of the local and personalized power structures of the period, Isidore was able to imagine Europe as a certain ‘frame of mind’, and provide it with a common meaning well before the turn of the first millennium. This early civilizational narrative of Europe likely contributed to the later articulation of Europe as a space of ‘Latin Christendom’; distinct from the barbarian and Muslim ‘others’ on its Eastern outsides (Delanty, 1995). But, in a more abstract way, it could also be read as one of the first examples of what we here are calling a ‘European imaginary’. This concept requires some unpacking. At a general level, a socio-political imaginary involves how we conceptualize and represent different aspects of our collective human existence (Taylor, 2004). Imaginaries are objects – such as ‘the West’ or ‘the economy’ – that allow us to order and categorize the world around us. As important political referents, imaginaries also become sites for constructing identity and ordering social relations. The economy presents a good example. This imaginary has opened up numerous avenues for political authorities to manage resources and labour, while also shaping the subjectivities and practices of ‘consumers’ and ‘workers’. The more ‘technical’ imaginaries become (i.e. as they are inscribed into historical texts, forms of calculation and everyday conversation), the more ‘ordering’ potential an imaginary will contain. Imaginaries are thus ‘discourses’ in the Foucauldian sense; as practices, they simultaneously produce and restrict the meaning of the political (Foucault, 1991). Though powerful objects for conceptualizing and ordering the modern world, imaginaries are not immutable or (a)historical. Imaginaries are context-bound. Therefore they can be modified, combined, or even displaced (consider the different mutations of ‘the economic’ since the late nineteenth century). In so far as ‘Europe’ is now an object (or reality) through which we talk about, categorize, and practise politics, it can be said to constitute a salient political imaginary (see also Delanty and Rumford, 2005; Biebuyck, 2010). An understanding of Europe as an imaginary contributes to a body of recent critical literature that explores the ways Europe is ‘made up’ of contingent practices of representation, narration, inscription, and performance (Diez, 2001; Walters and Haahr, 2005; Boon and Delanty, 2007). Furthermore, as Europe has ‘achieved’ the twin goals of near full economic integration and free movement, it has engendered new sites of reflection: by academics wishing to understand the process; by cultural commentators wishing to praise it; and by citizens wishing to push it back. In short, the density of European politics today has produced a corollary increase in the ways Europe is imagined as a political-ontological reality. This claim also implies that we can no longer simply look to the grand narratives of statesman and polemicists who defined Europe in the past. European imaginations today are often technical, bureaucratic and vernacular in composition. Thus, locating contemporary European imaginations requires, additionally, a sociological and anthropological gaze. One way to confront, and differentiate, the multitude of imaginaries around Europe is through the concept of a ‘field’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant, 1992; in relation to Europe, see Kauppi, 2003). Essentially, a field is a type of network that comprises a set of actors, interests, institutions and regulative rules that – when taken together – constitute a concrete space of professional or cultural interaction. Fields are discernible through the unique ways they conceptualize, organize and practise objects in the field. For example,

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trade unionists and lawyers constitute and operate in the fields of ‘industrial relations’ and the ‘law’. The fields gain symbolic and practical importance through mundane objects like pickets and courtrooms. Each field is composed of committed agents who utilize a shared language and operate with implicit goals and rewards in mind. The field is a useful heuristic for examining different imaginaries of Europe because it allows one to ‘ground’ prevalent narratives of Europe within the professional or culture milieus where they emerge and circulate (on this necessity, see Bevir, 2010). Furthermore, as an analytic for understanding Europe, the field provides a way to politicize the space in which European imaginaries circulate, and seek to effect the ‘common-sense’ understandings of integration (Kauppi, 2010). To substantiate the usefulness of this concept, we now examine three imaginaries and their associated fields of action/ practice. One field comprises the social scientists who study the processes and institutions of the EU. This includes scholars working in the subfields of ‘integration theory’ and EU studies. The goal within the social science field – at least among its mainstream contingent – is to break Europe down into elements or variables and test their casual properties. Institutions, state interests, and policy-making procedures become key elements for understanding the forms and functions of the EU (and this literature usually equates Europe to the EU). Liberal intergovernmentalists, to take one prominent example, approach the EU as an institutional arena wherein powerful national economic interests attempt to negotiate mutually beneficial treaties and policies (Moravcsik, 1993; 1998). What Schimmelfennig (2004: 75) calls the ‘baseline theory’ theory of integration has famously come to reject explanations of European unification on normative grounds, such as the pursuit of federalism, or the drive to cement peace between warring belligerents. Europe is, most fundamentally, a political space for reconciling national bargaining positions and guaranteeing credible commitments between states. The ‘grand’ treaties of the EU can be understood in reference to three objective and testable variables: ‘economic interests, relative power and credible commitments’ (Moravcsik, 1998: 4). A proliferating literature on EU governance – or ‘EU as polity’ – similarly approaches Europe as an object appropriate for mid-range theory. This literature borrows tools from comparative politics and public policy to inquire how institutional arrangements, policy networks and forms of multi-level governance have shaped the development of the postMaastricht EU (Jachtenfuchs, 2001; Kohler-Koch and Rittberger, 2006; Hix, 2007). This literature has provided influential explanations of the institutionalization of supranational competency, the contrasts between national and European governance, and the novel role of public–private arrangements in implementing EU programs and regulations. In particular, it has begun to capture the institutional dynamics around new forms of governance; such as soft regulation, subsidiarity and policy learning (see most recently Zito, 2010; He´ritier and Rhodes, 2011). These and other positivist approaches to the study of integration constitute what Manners (2006) labels the ‘normal science’ of EU studies. Europe takes form as a bundle of institutions, governance networks, and policy processes subject to the ‘gold standards’ of theoretical parsimony and falsifiability (see Moravcsik, 2001; Pollack, 2005). The imaginary belies a commitment to uncovering the ‘truth claims’ of European politics. There is, certainly, a real disciplining effect when Europe is already fixed as ‘a place,

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an era, an organisation, which is subject to rules, methods and theories without any ambiguity’ (Manners, 2003: 72; see also Walker, 2000; Rumford, 2009). Notably, multidisciplinary and critical approaches find little welcome in the field (or operate at its margins).1 Rosamond highlights the importance of intellectual choices in producing the presentation of Europe in this field: not only is our explanation of European integration the product of theoretical choice, but also our very conceptualizations of the realities of European integration and governance (what we take to be significant facets of the EU and its predecessors) is bound up with our scholarly choices and theoretical preference. This tendency is remarkably acute in EU studies. (Rosamond, 2007: 232)

The commitments and rewards within the social science field have importance here. Promotion and professional acclaim for EU academics arrives through publishing in the prominent journals that privilege theory testing and model building; journals such as EU Politics, the Journal of European Integration and International Organization. Likewise well-funded research consortiums – such as NEWGOV, funded under the EU’s 6th Framework Programme – focus primarily on comparative or policy-centred scholarship. In short, the imagination of Europe as a scientific object of study cannot be separated from the micro-questions of promotion, intellectual visibility and research funding that ground the profession of EU/integration studies. A second European imaginary is found in a prevalent genre of popular writings on European integration and EU politics that explain and praise the postwar European project (Biebuyck, 2009). While the books often utilize academic terminology, the intended target audience is wide and includes any educated layperson with an interest in the subject. The authors include journalists, academics and cultural commentators. Unlike the social science imaginary, the popular academic imaginary seeks not to explain integration, but, rather, to promote it as a superior form of politics best adapted to an age of globalized markets, human mobility and soft power. The names of the titles convey the normative agenda of the field; The European Dream (Rifkin, 2004), The European Superpower (McCormick, 2004), The United States of Europe (Reid, 2004), Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century (Leonard, 2006), and Europeanism (McCormick, 2010). Collectively, these works present a strong argument in favour of the political model offered by Europe. Europe is argued to have preserved the welfare state while still respecting – indeed, completing – the realization of the ‘four freedoms’ laid out in the Treaty of Rome. Rifkin states that in Europe ‘everyone is increasingly connected in webs and networks and dependent on one another for one’s individual and collective well being’ (2004: 21). Reid equates European welfare states with ‘falling into a large, soft bed with a down comforter for protection’ (2004: 147). This imagination also places particular importance on the geopolitical changes wrought by European integration. The EU is argued not only to have pacified Europe, but moreover, presents a new paradigm for inter-state relations generally. This ‘postmodern’ vision replaces militarism and statism with soft power, international law, and economic inducement. The idea of security is no longer assumed to be territorially circumscribed, but ‘driven by the cosmopolitan idea

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that all humans belong to a single moral community that transcends state boundaries or national identities’ (McCormick, 2010: 67). Specific writing styles, publishing interests, and political commitments structure the representation of Europe within this field. These ‘Euro-prophets’ compose their works from a combination of triumphalist prose, high readability and concise historical narrative. The accessibility and clarity of these texts help in ‘selling’ – both literally and symbolically – Europe as the future model for global political integration. Unlike social science texts on the EU, popular academic books are meant to be read by a large audience, and often become bestsellers. Thus, the presentation of Europe often occurs through dramatic claims; such as the idea Europe is liberating humanity from its ‘materialist prison’ (Rifkin, 2004: 8). The ‘othering’ of the US also provides a strategy for Europe’s intelligibility in the field. The US nearly always occupies the antithetical space to Europe’s inclusive, pacifist and welfarist values (see Rifkin, 2004: 17; Reid, 2004: 6; McCormick, 2010: 211–12). European integration, for these authors, opens a critical space for negatively assessing American militarism, individualism and hyper-capitalism. The ‘populist’ European imaginary provides a stark contrast to the vision of Europe proffered by popular academics. Rather than reading the EU/integration project as a laudable endeavour, it imagines an entity more alien and threatening. This imaginary is found in the reactionary and far-right of European politics; represented within the discourses and programmes of numerous contender and, more frequently, governing parties. Prominent examples include the National Front (France), the Northern League (Italy), the Party for Freedom (the Netherlands) and the Danish People’s Party (Denmark). Most of these parties have gained popularity by pushing a number of antisystem positions (see especially Carter, 2005). Notably, they oppose the corruption and ‘elitization’ of postwar politics and view immigrants as a culturally threatening and economically parasitic class. The populist narrative on immigration rejects open borders, and operates through a veritable ‘politics of phobias’ (Taras, 2009). The EU is approached as a remote bureaucratic and capitalist machine that jeopardizes the existence of normal and traditional European ways of life. Due to the unique way they counterpose Europe vs. the EU, Holmes (2000) has classified this movement not as anti-Europe, but as ‘integral Europe’. Integralists do claim a Europe, just not one based in Kantian cosmopolitanism or Delorsian supranationalism. Populist or integral Europe is better associated with the ideas of Herder and the counter-Enlightenment. This is Europe as a civilizational space of deeply rooted ethnic communities, historic traditions, and solidaristic forms of local political economy. Europe, for the integralists, can and should constitute itself as a meta-cultural order. But it firmly rejects the EU as a political-economic order that subverts the pre-existing organic bonds of regional or local community(s). For this reason, the populist imaginary reads the EU as an alien force; something not genuinely European. The EU promotes types of market integration and mobility which threaten the European ‘heartlands’ (Taggart, 2004). How can ‘Brussels’ be trusted when it protects the interests of the ultra-capitalists over those of native French, Flemish, and Danish citizens? Marine le Pen vividly capture this pro-Europe/anti-EU imaginary best: ‘We fight against ‘‘ultra-liberalism’’, which we consider to be a totalitarian system which insists on the free movement of people, goods and capital, something we reject’ (interview with The Independent: 13

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September 2010). Europe, in short, is imagined as a set of historical-cultural grouping(s), needing to be protected from the dislocating forces of immigration, economic integration, and cultural homogenization. The populist imaginary of Europe circulates in the field of representative and electoral politics. Despite their proclivity for anti-system rhetoric and authoritarian leadership, populist parties engage in similar practices of fund-raising, electioneering, and coalition building indicative of all party machines. Where populist parties differ from their ‘catch-all’ Christian Democratic and Labour counterparts is in how they read the central forces underpinning the unification project. Populist Europe rejects a key pillar of the postwar settlement that claimed European political and economic integration was a pre-condition for rehabilitating the nation-state (Milward, 1992). Moreover, it contests with even greater vitriol the Delorsian strategy that more Europe is the only possible solution to the problems of global competition and fiscal insolvency confronting mature Western European economies (Ross, 1995). An argument, it should be added, that is now made with even greater force in the era of potential sovereign debt defaults. It is the recent effects of this imaginary – and the success of the populist parties – Europeans must now confront. Moreover, success does not always equate to outright electoral victory. Consider some examples. First, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the autumn of 2010, orders the dismantlement of ‘illegal’ Roma camps and has the inhabitants deported. This is despite the European Commission calling it both inhumane and illegal under EU law. Second, in February 2011, David Cameron gives a noted speech (in Munich!) where he argues multiculturalism has failed in Europe, and must be replaced by a ‘much more active, muscular liberalism’. Third, over the past decade, many European governments – including the historically tolerant Netherlands and Denmark – have begun to impose stringent requirements for ‘social integration’ as a condition of receiving residency. Such examples demonstrate what has been termed ‘the great moving right show’ (Hall, 1979; for more recent usage, see Neocleous and Startin, 2003). Whether populist parties are able, in the end, to form governments may not be the decisive event. They have already achieved their goal of articulating an alternative Europe; a vision proving to have real ramifications at the level of policy-making and political discourse. In short, they have moved the political calculus of European democracy to the right. A Europe of reaction, protection and exclusion now circulates with great ferocity across the imagined heartland. In this section, we have deployed the heuristics of imaginary and field to demonstrate the different modalities through which ‘Europe’ is thought out. Moreover, these heuristics assist in locating the milieus – universities, publishing houses, and political movements – where these imaginaries appear, and how they relate to specific practices. There are, of course, other imaginaries and fields. For example, we could have examined the ‘governmental’ European imaginary of the European Commission. Here we could trace the lines where Europe is narrated as a set of economies, territories and environments to be managed by the institutions and regulatory schemes of the EU (see especially Barry and Walters, 2003; Walters, 2004). From the Single Market, to agriculture, to human mobility, the EU ‘conducts conduct’ in a multitude of ways. How have these sites of government been informed by a particular imagination of its object (Europe) and its subjects (Europeans)? Whether we ‘read’ Europe as an object of scientific study, an

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exalted model of political organization, a civilizational grouping, or a population to be managed, it is clear we are not dealing with ‘just narratives’. Narratives are inseparable from the practice of Europe as political life. Much can be understood about Europe as a multiplicity by examining this relationship between European imaginaries and their associated fields of action/practice.

Europes beyond Europe: the global dimension Understanding the relationship between Europe and globalization continues to be vexing, the recent concern with cosmopolitanism and mechanisms of global governance serve only to complicate the range of issues yet further. The argument here is that rather than attempting to bring global perspectives to bear on questions of Europe, scholars have, on the whole, preferred to understand Europe’s place in the world through the construction of ‘worlds containing Europe’; visions of global order within which Europe already enjoys a (privileged) place. This section examines several such constructions before giving consideration to an alternative approach which offers a relational–global perspective on Europe. The section concludes with a discussion of the ways in which global perspectives on the question of ‘unity and diversity’ reveal limitations in the way multiplicity has been hitherto considered. The literature on European integration has, on the whole, dealt poorly with the relationship between Europe and globalization, the underlying assumption being that the latter forms a hostile environment to which EU integration is a successful defensive response (Castells, 2000). The EU, through its project of integration, works to protect its member states against the pernicious effects of globalization (‘mondialisation sauvage’). European integration is thus seen as a solution for nation-states who feel threatened by the economic forces of globalization, and global flows and mobilities more generally, and the consequent loss of sovereignty that this is thought to entail. Furthermore, by promoting regimes of global governance, the EU provides opportunities to European states to defend their parochialism in the global arena through interactions with other multilateral organizations (Rumford and Buhari-Gulmez, 2011). In summary, on this view, European integration is capable of successfully resisting global forces and, thus, can strengthen the nation-state. But the EU is more than an obstacle to global forces. The EU, as a regional arrangement based on the free movement of goods, ideas, persons, and services, promotes and facilitates global flows on the European continent. Moreover, it contributes to the framework of global governance by presenting a European model of social justice and economic development as an alternative to the American model of deregulated capitalism, in much the same way as its multilateralism is viewed as a counterbalance to US adventurism. It even shapes global governance by offering ‘European’ standards to the world, and, more dramatically, pursuing the elimination of the death penalty in countries where it is still in existence. For these reasons it has been suggested that the EU is a ‘normative power’ (Manners, 2000). There is an assumption that European regional economic integration – comprising norms of good governance and democracy, social justice, environmental protection, and human rights – constitutes a model for the rest of the world (Magone, 2009: 277).

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Debate on the relationship between globalization and Europe has also been broadened by the recent concern with cosmopolitanism, with the EU being described as a ‘cosmopolitan empire’ (Beck and Grande, 2007) or the nearest thing to ‘actually existing cosmopolitanism’ (Archibugi, 1998). For Delanty (2009), it is not that the EU is a cosmopolitan polity ‘but that certain elements of the Europeanization of the nation-state have established preconditions for cosmopolitanism to be a significant dimension to contemporary European society’. Much of the interest in cosmopolitanism revolves around questions of EU identity in the contemporary world. On the one hand, cosmopolitanism can be seen as embodying universal values and aspirations, such as those represented by human rights or environmental values and as such make any separation between Europe and the rest of the world meaningless. On the other hand, it has been a feature of much recent writing on cosmopolitanism to see it as a European value upon which Europe’s ‘core identity’ rests (Habermas and Derrida, 2003). This idea of a cosmopolitan Europe has been contrasted to a much more self-interested United States, for example. The assumption that Europe is more cosmopolitan than other parts of the world or that cosmopolitanism is intrinsically European is highly problematic, and in fact works to divide Europe from the rest of the world rather than confirming an underlying universalism of values (Robertson and Krossa, 2011). Meyer (2001: 227) offers an alternative account of the EU as a ‘disinterested’ global actor. For him, the European Union is already part of ‘world culture’ and structures of global governance. The EU is a stateless, centreless, and networked polity and in this sense has much in common with the world polity, so much so that it is difficult to draw sharp distinctions between Europe and the rest of the world. The more Europe assumes polity-like qualities, the more difficult it is to demarcate boundaries between the EU, the rest of Europe, and the world in general. On this view, ‘Europe is an especially intense form of an elaborating global system’ (Meyer, 2001: 238). The EU as a promoter of global governance, as a cosmopolitan entity, and Europe as part of ‘world culture’ are all examples of the construction of ‘worlds containing Europe’, and represent attempts to side-step the difficulty of understanding the complex relationship between Europe and globalization. The argument here is that rather than projecting Europe as being at the helm of an emerging global order, it is more important, following Outhwaite (2008: 133), to ‘put Europe in its place’. This requires not only placing Europe in a global context but also developing global perspectives on Europe. The recent trend to elucidate ‘multiple Europes’ and also construct a multiplicity of ‘worlds containing Europe’ is not an adequate substitute for a non-Eurocentric global perspective on Europe. The work of Bo¨ro¨cz (2010) represents the most comprehensive attempt to date to ‘put Europe in its place’ in Outhwaite’s terms. Bo¨ro¨cz places the contemporary European Union in the context of its long-term development (and its very modest beginnings). In the precapitalist system of world trade, western Europe represented a small economic circuit and one that was marginal to other, more important, networks. Europe’s smallness and marginality would only be addressed by the establishment of overseas empires following the circumnavigation of Africa and the crossing of the Atlantic, both achieved in the fifteenth century. This empire building was characterized by the ‘simultaneous pursuance of political power and profits, resulting in the joint application of coercion and

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unequal exchange’ (Bo¨ro¨cz, 2010: 37). It is this (not always glorious) history that the European Union seeks to efface in its solipsistic self-promotion. The history of colonialism is excluded from the European Union’s self-image (Bhambra, 2009), and it likes to be seen with ‘clean hands’ in its dealings with developing countries. Bo¨ro¨cz demonstrates that Europe’s ‘global smallness’ has been a longstanding problem, even allowing for several centuries of dramatic colonial expansion. Colonial Europe remained small, by world standards. ‘Even at its peak, the proportion of gross world product that is internal to the British Empire remains below the 25 percent mark, quite a bit lower than China’s late-sixteenth and early-nineteenth-century peaks’ (Bo¨ro¨cz, 2010: 46). The sobering conclusion is that five centuries of colonial expansion did little to alter the enduring smallness of West European powers. However, the advent of global capitalism ‘exerted a destructive effect on much of the world outside western Europe’ (Bo¨ro¨cz, 2010: 49). In other words, it was not so much that Europe became rich but that the rest of the world became much poorer. This, then, is one rather depressing legacy of imperialism. Bo¨ro¨cz’s work offers a much-needed global perspective on Europe, one which seeks to contextualize European developments both in time and space, and which frames the development of Europe in terms of global patterns of development. It also offers an antidote to more solipsistic accounts of Europe’s role in the world and challenges the idea that Europe is automatically central to global orders. The popularity of multiple Europes and their projection onto a global landscape encourage the view that in order to understand the relationship between Europe and globalization what is needed is ‘better’ European perspectives on the emerging global order, the domestication of cosmopolitanism as ‘European cosmopolitanism’ being the paradigmatic case (Rumford, 2008: 116). The argument here is that acknowledgement of multiplicity is not in itself the key to understanding Europe. Indeed, the more Europe is decentralized or ‘provincialized’, the less relevant its multiplicities are revealed to be. This provokes an important question: is every construction of Europe evidence of multiplicity? Or, put another way, is it possible to imagine a vision of Europe which undermines multiplicity (and which does not promise a singular Europe)? These questions will be addressed by re-framing the idea of multiplicity through the lens of postwesternization. The mantra of ‘unity in diversity’ precludes a fractured Europe which no longer has a principle of unity. The postwesternization thesis draws attention to both processes leading to the de-unification of the West and also indicates a displacement of the idea of ‘the West’ from a central position in the way we think about (collective) self and others. The postwesternization thesis suggests that the West has ceased to exist as a meaningful entity, that it has been superseded, or at least that it is undergoing serious transformation. For Delanty, it is impossible to sustain the idea of the West as a coherent ideological, cultural, or geopolitical entity partly because ‘Western civilization’ has been globalized and partly because its underlying unity is rapidly fragmenting. ‘Europe, America and the West have become disentangled’ (Delanty, 2006: 1). In the nascent literature there is a degree of consensus on the developments which have shaped postwestern Europe (Therborn, 2003). Of these, the most important in the present context are the emergence of a new East shaping the continent (Delanty, 2003), meaning that Europe can no longer equate itself with the West when much of what used to be the Eastern bloc is now part of the European Union. Also, postwesternization signals the increasing lack of unity within

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those countries formerly considered to have a common ‘Western’ world view; examples include divisions over the invasion of Iraq in 2003, or (pre-Copenhagen 2009) actions on climate change which divided Europe from Australia and the United States. Processes of postwesternization signify far more than the reordering of Europe after the Cold War. This is not to say that the end of the east–west division of Europe has not been important, but in mainstream accounts this is but a prelude to a more unified Europe. One index of postwesternization is the proliferation of new divisions in Europe advanced to challenge its ‘unity in diversity’. For example, Agnew’s answer to the question ‘how many Europes?’ is posed in terms of ‘core, periphery and external’ rather than East and West (or North and South) (Agnew, 2001), and more recently Outhwaite has suggested the possible existence of ‘eight macroregions in a united Europe’ (Outhwaite, 2011). We can offer two instances of postwesternization, each of which offers a fresh perspective on Europe’s multiplicities. The first is the way in which the policies of EU countries in respect of border controls are being shaped by countries in North Africa. Frontex, the EU’s border harmonization agency, pragmatically (and selectively) chooses to overlook the human rights failings of its African ‘partners’, for example, the detention camps in Libya which fall short of international standards. Frontex’s approach to border control ‘on the ground’ (or sea) incorporates the practices of ‘partner’ countries, and as a consequence, the EU ‘is importing non-European, nondemocracy’,2 a key development for an institution which likes to be seen as a force for good in the world. The second example concerns the status of EU countries at the UN, where it is still the case that member states are divided between different official groupings, particularly the Eastern European States Group and the Western Europe and Others Group, with Cyprus being part of the Asian Group. European presence at the UN is fragmented and is likely to remain so as changing the groupings would likely result in a diminution of the political representation of European states in UN organs (Gotz, 2008). This is a good example of the way in which the EU is prevented from projecting a unified vision of its underlying multiplicity. In the UN, European multiplicity undermines its coherence as an actor and its ability to cohere is inhibited by associational forces largely beyond European control. An object such as Europe becomes reconfigured in particular temporal and spatial contexts. Contestations over the meaning of Europe frequently centre on questions of geography, and more particularly ‘where Europe ends’; Turkey and/or Russia regularly providing the ‘limit case’ in such deliberations. The postwestern thesis outlined here demonstrates that historical constructions of Europe are also grounds for contestation. In the Introduction we advanced the idea of Europe as a ‘historical ontology’. The brief cases outlined below demonstrate why this is such an important way of approaching the question of a Europe whose multiplicity is variegated temporally as well as spatially. It would not be correct to think that postwestern Europe emerged in 1989 with the collapse of communism. It has a much richer history, in keeping with Delanty’s idea that postwesternization is associated with ‘three civilizational constellations’ which intersect in Europe: (1) the Occidental Christian constellation; (2) the Byzantine-Slavic Eurasian constellation; and (3) the Ottoman Islamic constellation. These civilizational constellations allow for the possibility of multiple modernities; ‘European modernity has been

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shaped in the image of not one modernity but all three’ (Delanty, 2003). The development of postwestern Europe can be traced historically through a series of events which point to either a lack of Western unity (fascism and dictatorship, Marshall Aid, the Suez Crisis) or a new East influencing the continent (exemplified by the oil crisis, or the legacy of the Iranian Revolution). This alternative history of postwar Europe calls into question the usual chronology of significant dates by which Europe knows itself: 1957 (Treaty of Rome), 1968 (student uprisings), 1989 (Eastern European revolutions), 1992 (Single Market), etc. Postwestern Europe has its own key dates; 1956 (Suez), 1973 (oil crisis) and 1979 (Iranian Revolution), which suggest that European dynamics are not always driven from within Europe, or, put another way, that Europe is not always the author of its own development. For example, the Suez Crisis, or ‘last imperial offensive from Europe’ as Therborn (1995: 360) terms it, was a decisive moment for the idea of a West rooted in colonialism. Egypt’s assertion of non-alignment was greeted initially by the USA, Britain and France, the West’s three most interested parties, with a common front of opposition. But without the USA’s knowledge, Britain and France made secret plans for a joint military invasion of Egypt using an Israeli military excursion into Sinai as a pretext for their occupation of the Canal Zone. This move incurred the anger of the USA for whom Britain and France had ‘placed their own interests above those of the Western alliance as a whole’ (Judt, 2007: 297). In the face of American opposition Britain and France withdrew from Suez. According to Therborn (1995: 346), the French experience of Suez was a catalyst for their advocacy of the EEC (which itself introduced new divisions into the West) and also marks the point that the then-EEC chose to dissociate itself from the imperial past of many member states (and soon to become member states). Another key date in the postwestern timeline is 1973, the year of the oil crisis and the recognition that the West depended upon an East which was more than capable of flexing its economic muscle. The impact of OPEC raising the price of crude oil dramatically3 led directly to an economic downturn in European Community countries leading to what became known as ‘stagflation’, the memory of which would later be the catalyst for the drive for the Single Market. In the 1970s, oil had become central to the European economy and the consumer boom of the late 1950s and 1960s more generally had exposed a dependency on cheap (imported) oil. Therefore, Europe felt the impact of this price hike much more keenly than the USA which benefitted from large domestic oil reserves. According to Ladrech (2006: 44), ‘the manner in which Europe and the US responded to this event added another division in intra-West foreign-policy cohesion’, another landmark on the path to a growing lack of unity within the West. The postwesternization thesis truly ‘puts Europe in its place’ for Outhwaite. Bo¨ro¨cz achieves a global perspective on Europe by emphasizing its ‘global smallness’ historically speaking. But Bo¨ro¨cz’s world systems theory-derived account does not allow for a Europe which is less centred as a result of its travails. The postwesternization thesis not only deflates claims as to the importance of Europe but points in the direction of Europe being less ‘European’ than conventionally understood, its crises, conflicts, and economic and political drivers being located elsewhere, in large part. Moreover, the postwestern thesis does not lend itself to incorporation as a European imaginary: there is no

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position from which postwesternization can be enunciated which allows it to be domesticated as a narrative of Europe-authored development.

Conclusion Many Europes do exist, but recognition of this is but the starting point for a discussion of Europe’s diversity. Moreover, it is not the proliferation of Europes which requires investigation; rather, it is the dynamics of Europe’s multiplicity which commands attention. In this article we have focused on the diverse sources of multiplicity that exist rather than attempting to offer a catalogue of (unity in) diversity. To this end, we have largely eschewed discussion of the ‘usual suspects’: East/West divisions, Christian or Muslim heritage, EU members/non-members, old or new European orientations, etc. in favour of an account which investigates what drives the construction of multiplicity. In conclusion, and it has to be a tentative one given the relative brevity of this investigation, we would wish to emphasize two points in respect of many Europes. First, there exists a major tension between a notion of many Europes that somehow works to bring Europeans closer together (Isidore’s European ‘frames of mind’), and a notion of many Europes which bring it closer to the rest of the world, and in doing so possibly fragments the unity of Europe. Second, in line with Walker (2000), we believe that the issue of many Europes should be seen as a puzzle to be investigated. An approach which holds that we already know that there is an underlying unity which can organize and domesticate diversity will fail to recognize the true dimensions of Europe’s multiplicity, which can exist in tension with fragmentary logics. Approaching Europe from the perspective of ‘historical ontology’ makes visible the ways multiple Europes result from a diversity of political contexts. Furthermore, multiplicities often combine and overlap to produce hybrid forms of Europeaness. Global perspectives are not always antithetical to the idea of many Europes. However, other ways of viewing globality – the postwesternization thesis foremost among these – point more in a different direction: if not fragmentation, then certainly a lack of underlying unity. Drawing on Appadurai (1996: 46–7), it is possible to envision Europe as a ‘fractal cultural configuration’ formed out of various polythetic cultures which are (at best) weakly patterned and structured. A Europe that is characterized by disjuncture, fragmentation and uncertainty rather than ‘older images of order, stability, and systematicness’ remains a possibility. Notes 1. That is to say, beyond the residual interdisciplinarity of an integration studies forged by comparative politics and IR. 2. Not possible to give a reference at this time. Source: paper submitted anonymously to another journal and refereed by author. 3. From $3.6 (USD) per barrel in 1973 to $10.4 in 1974 (Pirages, 2007).

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About the authors William Biebuyck is an Instructor of Political Science at Carleton University. He is the author of several articles on the themes of European imaginaries, cultural political economy, and the governance of food supply in Western Europe. Chris Rumford is Professor of Political Sociology and Global Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author or editor of several books including The European Union: A Political Sociology (Blackwell), Rethinking Europe (with Gerard Delanty) (Routledge), The Sage Handbook of European Studies (Sage), Cosmopolitan Spaces (Routledge), and the forthcoming The Globalization of Strangeness (Palgrave).

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