Europe: The Reconstruction
of the Free World
Ulrike Guérot & Robert Menasse

  • Europe_Republic Picture: © Ulrike Guérot
Are borders really the normal state of affairs? A critical and historical approach suggests this is in fact a very recent development. By recognising this, we can start to open our minds to imagine new ways of including ‘Others’ within our own borders. A radical futuristic plan for a borderless Europe.

"In political psychology, even schizophrenia is normal. When citizens of any state are at home, they want to know that their state borders are defended and policed as rigorously as possible. But when they travel abroad, they want borders to be as porous as possible, and ideally invisible. They don’t want to be held up at borders, but they want others entering their country to be stopped at the border and prevented from entering. At their destination, they want to experience the ‘Other’ as ‘an interesting different culture’, but at home they perceive the ‘Other’ as a threat to ‘our culture’. The sudden disappearance of borders can spark euphoria, as we saw with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and indeed of the rest of the Iron Curtain, but citizens want the borders back again when it appears that the people from ‘over there’ want to come over here looking for work..."

Read the article here


Guerot Portrait Photo: © Ulrike Guérot Ulrike Guérot
Founder and Director of the European Democracy Lab at the European School of Governance in Berlin. She writes about European Democracy and global Europe, has taught at renowned universities in Europe and the US and has 20 years’ experience in the European think tank community. Since April 2016, Professor and Director, Department for European Policy and the study of Democracy, Donau-University, Krems, Austria. Her book “Warum Europa ein Republik werden muss! Eine politische Utopie’ (Why Europe Needs to Become a Republic! A Political Utopia) has just been published. In 2014, Senior Fellow at the Open Society Initiative for Europe, working as analyst and public intellectual on issues such as European integration and the EU’s role in a globalised world - with a recent emphasis on Germany’s changed role and responsibility both in Europe and the world. In April 2013, together with Robert Menasse, she published a manifesto for the foundation of a European republic. In 2011, the Italian Journal LIMES listed her as one of the 100 European “Thought Leaders”. Source:   @ulrikeguerot

Robert Menasse, who was born into a Jewish family in Vienna in 1954, speaks with the voice of the generation known as Nachgeborene (“those born after”). Although fortunate to have escaped the persecution and exile his parents endured, Menasse’s stories constantly refract the suffering of the past through the ironic distance of a feeling observer. His critically humorous voice uncovers surprising truths about himself and the past. As the author of over twenty books, which include critical essays on contemporary cultural topics as well as novels and short stories, Menasse’s fame as a major figure in contemporary Austrian literature is firmly established. He has received many prestigious literary prizes and divides his time between Vienna and Amsterdam. Source: