This research network on Cultural Mechanisms of Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary Europe (CMIECE) brings together scholars whose work analyzes transnational cultural, intellectual and political mechanisms that promote inclusion and exclusion on the local, national, and European level.
Social scientists have long worked to understand the ways that social groups promote unity and do (or do not) tolerate diversity. It is also well known that patterns of understanding, discourse, and political theory can likewise be understood as cultural or conceptual mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion.
Our point of departure is the belief that today's discussion of the meanings and future of "Europe" can be enriched by examining the ways "Europe"—as idea, as cultural point of reference, and as political concept—functions as a just such a conceptual mechanism of inclusion and exclusion.
The three clusters of the research network explore alternative ways of conceiving Europe. These will: examine how the idea of a "European culture" has been conceptualized historically; explore how competing visions of Europe affect prospects for participating in society and politics in Europe; and analyze how European experiences of inclusion and exclusion have been represented and given meaning in works of literature and film.
By isolating and understanding these cultural mechanisms, this research aims to engage in a productive dialogue across the humanities and social sciences in order to explore alternative ways of understanding and describing Europe in cultural and political debates. The network thereby seeks to contribute to efforts to imagine and achieve a more sustainable and inclusive Europe.