From the Dark, Into the Dark: New Europe Meets old BRICS on the Way

Carlos Frederico Pereira da Silva Gama, Barbara Tigre Maia

Abstract


In 2012, the European Union (EU) received the Nobel Peace Prize amidst political and economic crises. Just before the nomination, the EU released (and withdrew) an advertisement on European enlargement. Rather than contemplating incumbent members, it presented EU’s alleged set of enemies - countries from the BRICS group, which benefited from the aforementioned crises. It portrays a gripping landscape in which the EU is the embodiment of rational, peaceful change whereas Brazil, India and China are rendered allegories of unfettered destruction. The juxtaposition between crises and the Nobel brings to the EU’s status in a shifting world to the table. Brazilian, Indian, Chinese stereotypes get mobilized to stabilize ongoing notions of European identity and polity. BRICS countries and the EU are set apart in moral terms. Through the advertisement, BRICS and the EU get positioned in an ongoing struggle for international ordering. Enjoying the opportunity of Nobel Prize to critically approach the EU as a political entity, the paper brings EU’s portrayal of others to the fore, focusing how historical claims are made to work, challenging EU’s concatenation of representations. The paper, inspired by a handful of International Relations critical contributions, problematizes such representations on grounds of how practices of making claims about history work through popular culture fixing roles for the EU and the BRICS in a shifting world order.


Keywords


International ordering, representations, popular culture, European union, BRICS

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v4i3.571

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