‘As the authors in this fascinating volume point out, both heritage and identity discourse can be instrumentalized, by proponents and opponents of European integration, as they can be commodified, in branding efforts with various implementations. Just as in Macchiavelli’s Europe, political and economic alliances shift, people get tired of things, are anxious, and in a tumultuous present they tend either to cling furiously to old (reinvented) identities or to redefine themselves on a regular basis. The past, and thus heritage, plays different roles at different times in these processes. In Renaissance culture, the Romans inspired a unity of thought we now label ‘Renaissance’ but in the politics and identity politics of the day, the effects were much more intricately patterned.French law became modeled on Roman law, and a Roman- inspired legal profession and administrative ethics arose that gradually permeated French society, but Spain and Italy itself proved quite different’
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