Cultural Riddles of Regional Integration — A Reflection on Europe from the Asia-Pacific


As the euro crisis unfolds, political discourse on both sides of the European Union (EU)’s internal divide—“North” and “South”—becomes ever more exasperated, distant and untranslatable. At the root lies a weak pan-European sense of belonging—a common political identity thanks to which European citizens may regard each other as equals, and therefore as deserving recognition, trust, and solidarity. This paper describes some of the culture-related problems that impact directly on the formation of an eventual political identity for EU citizens. It then suggests that the enacting of an interculturalist paradigm can help untie some of the nuts—political but also cultural—that Europe faces in order to solve the economic crisis. A few remarks are dedicated in the conclusive part to cultural pluralism in Singapore, a key player in any future progress towards the integration of the Asia Pacific Region.

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Pablo Cristóbal Jiménez Lobeira
Australian National University


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