Eastern enlargement of the EU and NATO was not only a technical but also a highly emotional matter. The image of the “East” as untrustworthy, threatening and fundamentally different from an imagined “Western” community is strongly rooted. Drawing upon interviews in Austrian state institutions, this paper argues that the end of the Cold War made it necessary for Austria to redefine its identity as a neutral bridge builder. Using the example of security and police cooperation, it illustrates how Austria’s “return to Mitteleuropa” by consequence may be interpreted as a postcolonial project to recover imperial greatness in a contemporary shape. However, this one-sided move
did not yield the expected results in the former crown lands, which preferred to treat this endeavor instrumentally.1
Austria, security, Mitteleuropa, postcoloniality, EU enlargement
How to CiteSchwell A. (2012) “AUSTRIA’S RETURN TO MITTELEUROPA”, Ethnologia Europaea. 42(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1089
- This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.