Multiple Europes and the Negotiation of European Borders. a Post-Colonial Perspective on Negotiations of Power Between Nation States, Investors and Labor
In this paper, we address the question of “Europe” from a theoretical perspective combining postcolonial and figurational theory. We argue that the location of states as political actors in the figuration is itself historically produced and linked to different positions of power, such that the issue of belonging to the European space is not constructed primarily on the basis of geographical or cultural criteria or of formal EU membership, but via their geopolitical role in the structure of (post)colonial power relations. Thus, at least five types of “Europes” can be identified and distinguished from the Non-European: heroic Europe, decadent Europe, epigonal Europe, contested Europe and marginal Europe.
We further argue that the power relations within and between these groups is driven by complex power games between nation states, capital, the indigenous labour force and labour migrants. These complex dynamics change Europe over time and give it its present form.