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Talk by Peter O'Brien, Professor of Political Science at Trinity University

Wed, April 22, 2009 | Batts 5.108

3:00 PM

The study unearths in European writings about chief rivals -- Islamic civilization between the first Crusade in 1095 and the final Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683, and the United States of America from independence in 1776 until the present -- persistent solicitude regarding Europe's capacity to lead the world. Intriguingly, however, this very self-doubt prompted the kind of intense introspection which helped, in the past, to forge seismic progressive reform movements such as the Renaissance, Reformation and Scientific Revolution that ultimately propelled Europe past a more inward-looking Islam and which, today, may very well be positioning a rapidly transforming European Union to counter the hegemony of a seemingly smug America. The study concludes that frail, if not low self-esteem has played a significant role in the formation of European identity.

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