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Building Eurafrica: Reviving Colonialism through European Integration, 1920-1960

Hansen, Peo and Jonsson, Stefan (2011) Building Eurafrica: Reviving Colonialism through European Integration, 1920-1960. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    This paper examines the history of the ‘Eurafrican project’ as it evolved from the Pan‐ European movement in the 1920s to its institutionalization in the European Economic Community (EEC) (i.e. today’s EU) in the late 1950s. As we show, practically all of the visions, movements and concrete institutional arrangements working towards European integration during this period placed Africa’s incorporation into the European enterprise as a central objective. As so much of the scholarly, political and journalistic accounts at the time testify to, European integration was inextricably bound up with a Eurafrican project. According to the intellectual, political and institutional discourse on Eurafrica—or the fate of Europe’s colonial enterprise—a future European community presupposed the transformation of the strictly national colonial projects into a joint European colonization of Africa. There is strong evidence to support that this project was instrumental in the actual, diplomatic and political constitution of the EEC, or of Europe as a political subject. According to our thesis, the origins of the EU cannot be separated from the perceived necessity to preserve and reinvigorate the colonial system. On a second level the paper also introduces a broader historiographic problematic in which we position Eurafrica as the wider but by now forgotten formation that shaped Europe and Africa and their relations to one another in the greater part of the twentieth century. Eurafrica conditioned both the integration of Europe and the political landscape in postcolonial Africa. We are thus able to shift the terrain upon which most if not all scholarly analyses of the political, economic and ideological developments on the two continents have taken place up until now. Eurafrica is the forgotten geopolitical context that must be reconstructed in order for us to resolve a set of crucial historical and political problems. Questioning the historical framework usually employed in EU studies, our intervention emphasizes the radically different geopolitical designs for the postwar world order that was encoded in the Eurafrican project. Finally, we also show how these Eurafrican designs continue to influence current relations between Europe and Africa.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-ACP
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2011 (12th), April 23-25, 2011
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 12:11
    Number of Pages: 37
    Last Modified: 07 Jan 2020 19:47

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