Europas nichteuropäische Europäer

Nationalstaaten beruhen auf ethnischer und territorialer Einheit, und ihre Geschichte und politische Entwicklung gründen auf dem Gefühl einer gemeinsamen Identität. Großreiche entstehen, wenn eine nationale Gruppe ihre Existenz innerhalb ihrer territorialen Grenzen entweder als gefährdet oder als ineffektiv ansieht und eine Strategie der Expansion durch Zwang einschlägt, die normalerweise mit Gewalt großen Umfangs verbunden ist.

Westeuropa entdeckte erst nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg – als der Hitlerismus Vergangenheit war, der Stalinismus jedoch eine sehr reale Gefahr darstellte – eine andere Route für seine Entwicklung. Die westeuropäischen Intellektuellen erkannten, dass sowohl Nationalismus wie Imperialismus unakzeptable Ansätze zum Aufbau eines Staates waren und dass Europas Stabilität eine Union von Nationen erforderte, die expandieren konnte und sollte, ohne sich jedoch dabei in ein Großreich zu verwandeln.

Westeuropas politische Elite machte sich diese Haltung rasch zu Eigen, und Amerikas „euroatlantisches“ politisches Denken trug, in Verbindung mit dem Marshallplan, entscheidend hierzu bei. Die Römischen Verträge sowie die Gründung des Europarates verkörperten einen rechtlichen, wirtschaftlichen und politischen, vor allem aber einen philosophischen Durchbruch.

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