The basis of Nemo’s reflections, although never explicitly stated as such, is the perception of an unsettling tension between the cosmopolitanism of Western culture and the apparent self-containment of other historical cultural identities. The West not only differs from other cultural spaces, but differs in a way that they do not differ from one another.

Western identity has an antinomic character: although its essence is defined by universalistic liberal values, it is nonetheless the result of a particular historical process of cultural genesis… The morphogenesis of the West consists, in Nemo’s view, of five chronological stages of equal importance.