The creation of the European Union and the progressive integration of the European states has raised serious questions about the existence of a distinctive European identity. Do the British share much in common with the French, or the French with the Danes? Will a unified Europe remain an economic and political possibility with no greater cultural or affective foundations? If there is something that distinguishes all Europeans, what is it, and how is it being changed by recent events? This book addresses these questions in essays ranging from ancient Greece to the end of the twentieth century. Their authors come from different intellectual backgrounds and represent differing intellectual traditions. They discuss questions of politics, religion, commerce, law, language, literature and affectivity. Taken together, they provide a powerful insight into the historical origins of the idea of Europe and into the future of the European Union.
In The Press
'Implicit in Pagden's fascinating, erudite and penetrating collection is a consoling message about the ongoing fertility and plurality of the - predominantly Western - European heritage. The very richness, diversity and historical depth of the sources underpinning the European project provide the last best hope of both Europhiles and Eurosceptics.' Colin Kidd, History of European Ideas