"Decentering Europe": reconceptualizing the object of study of anthropological research on "Europeanization"
Regina Römhild (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
Putting Europe in the centre of critical research in order to simultaneously decenter it through a focus on its global entanglements and power relations, on its internal fractures and marginalizations.
Paper long abstract:
"Decentering Europe" is the headword of one effort to re-direct anthropological research on Europe, which we will discuss in our paper. This approach reacts to a perceived double gap: on the one hand anthropological research on "Europeanization" has not yet integrated systematically the global entanglements of the continent in its research agenda; on the other hand post-colonial study has so far rather avoided "Europe" as a proper object of its research. Consequently "decentering Europe" proposes to include post-colonial positions into the anthropological research on "Europe" as well as to partly "europeanize" post-colonial research. From this perspective "Europe" comes into view as a heterogeneous, multiple and uncompleted formation, which cannot be narrowed to the emergences and policies of the European Union. In fact it is equally positioned in the world through the less visible interwoven genealogies of its discourses, through its mobilities and migrations, as well as through counter-hegemonial initiatives and imaginations of European alternatives. In our paper we will concentrate on the consequences of this approach: i) for the conceptualization of "Europe" as an object of study; ii) for the further development and reorientation of the more established anthropological research traditions on "Europe" and "Europeanization"; iii) and for empirical research strategies. As overall aim of our paper we will discuss how this approach can contribute to the development of "worlding Europe" as a prospective research programme.
Europeanization revisited. "Worlding Europe": outlines for a prospective research programme