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Changing conceptions of european identitiy and shifting boundaries

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2004
Akyürek, Ahmet Engin
In the end of the 1980s and in the beginning of the 1990s Europe and the world witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the mid-1990s the member states of the European Union decided to enlarge the Union towards the Eastern Europe. Thus European integration entered into an unprecedented phase. Integration of the Eastern Europeans with the Western Europe contributed to the debates on the notions of European identity and the idea of Europe. Adherence of the East Europeans to the ideals of the Western European civilization brought up some questions about the changing identities and shifting boundaries of Europe. Various theories deal with the problems of identity in general and European identity in particular. However to a great extent they are limited within a rigid description of self-other relationship. They do not intend to investigate the real motives or purposes behind these transformations of the prevailing identities and shifting of the boundaries of Europe. So, it will be argued that, in order to understand construction/reconstruction process of the new European identity, one should also take into consideration the more dynamic effects on changing European identity and shifting borders of Europe.