The Novelty of Europe as seen from the Periphery: Indian Perception of the 'New Europe' in a Multi-polar world

  • Subrata K. Mitra (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Europe, one voice claiming to speak for the twenty-five, is a novelty even among the putative Europeans. Understandably, incomprehension and confusion are much more the case among those outside, looking-in. In consequence, non-Europeans’ understanding of the new Europe remains vague, contradictory and questioning, laced with an undertone of anticipation and anxiety. With its focus on the Indian view, the paper traces the origin of the perceptual ‘gap’ between Europe and India in terms of the colonial categories of the rational-Self, and, the irrational-Other. Beginning with the English, French and German genealogies of this basic duality, the paper shows how these categories of hegemony and subjugation have been steadily whittled down in post-colonial practice. The analysis points towards the potential for a reflexive mode of discourse that could draw on the natural affinity of India and the new Europe, and thus generate the ontological basis for an appropriate mode of discourse, institutional arrangement and room to manoeuvre in a multi-polar world.


India; Perception; International Relations; Governance