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Europe: A friend of Africa?

Vol. 3, No. 2, December 2007
Deutsch | français

This issue of EUROSTUDIA. Transatlantic Journal for European Studies continues to analyze different aspects of Europeanization in a global context. As has already been the case with the previous issue (see Editorial of EUROSTUDIA, No. 1/2007) the objective is to shed light on Europe’s role on the different levels of its multilateral and international relations. Are we right to think that after the atrocities of the age of discoveries and colonialism Europe completely turned away from its former aggressive politics in order to support its past victims in their attempt to live up to Western levels of economic prosperity and political stability? Or do we rather have to state that Europe continues, at times in competition with at times hand in hand with the US, to very actively impose its interests on the international level, just in a more sophisticated way and by developing more elaborate, more seductive discourses?

The present issue of EUROSTUDIA is dedicated to this aspect of Europeanization under the specific angle of the relationship between Europe and Africa. The five articles presented here are as many case-studies on the topic running from an analysis of France’s conflict management in sub-Saharan Africa and a study on the repercussions of the colonialist experience for postcolonial politics and culture to a reflection on the persisting pertinence of Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism.

In doing so, this issue obviously covers only a very limited range of aspects regarding today’s relationship between Africa and Europe. However, as a whole it provides sufficient evidence that Aimé Césaire’s verdict characterizing Europe as “spiritually unjustifiable” continues to seriously challenge Western self-understanding.

Dietmar Köveker