Fortress Europe

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Volume 20, Issue 6, 2006

Although Europe, as a geopolitical entity and as an ideological concept, has rested on a historical process of absorbing, hybridising and assimilating different people from diverse ethnic, religious and national groups, individual European countries have tended to view migration as challenging and threatening to their territories, identity and ways of imagining themselves and others. In contrast to Jurgen Habermas’s identification of Europe not as a nation‐state in the sense of having a common descent, language and history but as a civic community with a voluntary collective expression, Fortress Europe increasingly erects racial, ethnic and religious boundaries. While, on the one hand, Europe encourages the expansion of the EU, on the other it is defining and closing its borders to the ‘others’.

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