East of Vienna, South of the Drina: Explaining the Constituencies for Europe in Southeastern Europe

  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi


The links between Southeastern Europe and Western Europe have always been ambiguous. The old border on the River Drina between the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern one was somehow kept alive throughout history; the later frontier between the Ottoman and the Habsburg empires fell about there as well; today, the lucky part of former Yugoslavia fully accepted by Europe lies North and West, while to the South and East the periphery starts. Samuel Huntington (1991) placed there the dividing line between the European civilization and the rest, that is, between Western Christian denomination and the Balkan Orthodox and Muslim. Greek guides may well claim to tourists that Europe’s birthplace falls on their island; Balkan inhabitants have always known that Europe starts only west of Vienna. Indeed in old times, travelers from the region going north and west in Europe knew that their journey led “inside.”


Political Elite Social Identity Theory Central European Country Balkan Country Accession Country 
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Copyright information

© Robert Rohrschneider and Stephen Whitefield 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi

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