Overcoming "Otherness": the contribution and relation of Central and Eastern Europe to the idea "Europe"

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The idea of ‘Europe’ in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has evolved significantly during the three decades of post-communist transition. Initially, anti-Soviet elites from the 1980s portrayed the region as equal/complementary to the Western part of the continent, which for its part perceived CEE as its ‘Other’. The first decade of post-communist transition was marked by a switch to nationalist thinking and the evocation of the idea of ‘Europe’ as one of nation-states. Finally, contemporary discourses of ‘Europe’ in CEE revolve around three different pillars, that is, European exceptionalism, European universalism and Transatlanticism, in contrast to Western discourses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number4
Early online date18 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • idea of Europe
  • European identity
  • post-communist transition
  • Otherness

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