The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. Anti-Germanism in the Age of the Great Recession

Author/s Daniele Pasquinucci
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2021/48 Language Italian
Pages 23 P. 36-58 File size 147 KB
DOI 10.3280/XXI2021-048003
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Since the Euro-zone crisis and the following standoff of the process of European integration, criticism against Germany has become a fl ag of the Eurosceptic political parties and movements. A poisoned narrative tends to present the Federal republic as a power struggling for hegemony in the continent. Indeed, anti-German sentiments have a long history and this essay traces their origins in France, Britain and Italy. When the fi rst European Communities came into being in the 1950s, anti-Germanism was immediately used by anti-European circles. From this point of view, there is a clear continuity between today’s Eurosceptics and the early anti-Europeanists. The European communities were fi rst seen as an instrument to enable the resurgence of German militarism, and then as a means to establish the economic hegemony of the Federal Republic in Europe. These narratives - despite the passage of time - are based on clichés and stereotypes that seem unchanging, portraying Germany as a country with an irrepressible tendency to dominate others. This prompts us to think of Euroscepticism not so much as the container of anti-German prejudice, but rather as the contemporary vehicle of a more allusive sentiment - because it seems to fi nd justifi cation in concrete experiences of domination pursued and, in some periods and places, actually exercised. But it is precisely a careful historical analysis that reveals how anti-Germanism is grounded in misleading arguments and assessments.

Keywords: Italy, France, Great Britain, Anti-Germanism, Euroscepticism, European Union, Economic Recession.

Daniele Pasquinucci, L’eterno ritorno dell’uguale. L’antigermanesimo nell’età della lunga recessione in "VENTUNESIMO SECOLO" 48/2021, pp 36-58, DOI: 10.3280/XXI2021-048003