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In a study that is original and timely, Eve Darian-Smith uses the Channel Tunnel between England and France to explore the shifting geographies of nationalism, postcolonialism, and legal autonomy in the formation of the European Union. Conducting ethnographic research in Kent, the county at the English mouth of the Tunnel, she looks at regional differences in feelings about Europe and at the vocabulary used in discussing the Tunnel. Visual representations—political cartoons, photographs, etchings—regarding the Tunnel are also examined.
Two hundred years after Napoleon planned to invade England via a tunnel, the completion in 1994 of a fast rail link between Great Britain and the European mainland symbolizes the disintegration of conventional state borders. While the Tunnel precariously affirms the ideal of a united Europe, it also brings to the fore questions of boundaries between the first and third worlds, colonizers and colonized, and the "East" and the "West." Bridging Divides is about much more than an engineering feat. By exploring historical narratives, tunnel stories, and legal myths, Darian-Smith's study shows the interconnections between people's memories of the past and current history.
|List of Illustrations|
|1||Landscape and Law in the English Imagination||17|
|2||Kent: Garden of England and Gateway to Europe||41|
|3||Napoleon's Long Shadow, 1802-1985: The Conflation of Territory, Identity, and Nationalism||71|
|4||Penetrating Britannia, 1986-1994: The Continuing Significance of Sovereignty||94|
|5||"The Assassination of Kent": Local Politics, Environmental Concerns, and Rethinking the Centrality of British Law||117|
|6||Rabies Rides the Fast Train: Transnational Interactions in Postcolonial Times||141|
|7||Locating a Reinvigorated Kentish Identity: New Connections, New Divisions||160|
|Conclusion: A Shifting Perspective on Europe||189|
|Appendix 1||Key Dates in the History of the Channel Tunnel Project||197|
|Appendix 2||An Analysis of European Union Survey Statistics on Attitudes toward the Channel Tunnel||204|
|Appendix 3||A Summary of European Union Treaties, Legislation, and Agreements Relevant to the Channel Tunnel||211|