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Translated by Ciaran Cronin. In the midst of the current crisis that is threatening to derail the historical project of European unification, Jürgen Habermas has been one of the most perceptive critics of the ineffectual and evasive responses to the global financial crisis, especially by the German political class. This extended essay on the constitution for Europe represents Habermas’s constructive engagement with the European project at a time when the crisis of the eurozone is threatening the very existence of the European Union. There is a growing realization that the European treaty needs to be revised in order to deal with the structural defects of monetary union, but a clear perspective for the future is missing. Drawing on his analysis of European unification as a process in which international treaties have progressively taken on features of a democratic constitution, Habermas explains why the current proposals to transform the system of European governance into one of executive federalism is a mistake. His central argument is that the European project must realize its democratic potential by evolving from an international into a cosmopolitan community. The opening essay on the role played by the concept of human dignity in the genealogy of human rights in the modern era throws further important light on the philosophical foundations of Habermas’s theory of how democratic political institutions can be extended beyond the level of nation-states. Now that the question of Europe and its future is once again at the centre of public debate, this important intervention by one of the greatest thinkers of our time will be of interest to a wide readership.
This is a very timely and important political intervention by one of the leading social and political thinkers in the world today.
Translated by Ciaran Cronin. In the midst of the current crisis that is threatening to derail the historical project of European unification, Jürgen Habermas has been one of the most perceptive critics of the ineffectual and evasive responses to the global financial crisis, especially by the German political class. This extended essay on the constitution for Europe represents Habermas’s constructive engagement with the European project at a time when the crisis of the eurozone is threatening the very existence of the European Union. There is a growing realization that the European treaty needs to be revised in order to deal with the structural defects of monetary union, but a clear perspective for the future is missing. Drawing on his analysis of European unification as a process in which international treaties have progressively taken on features of a democratic constitution, Habermas explains why the current proposals to transform the system of European governance into one of executive federalism is a mistake. His central argument is that the European project must realize its democratic potential by evolving from an international into a cosmopolitan community. The opening essay on the role played by the concept of human dignity in the genealogy of human rights in the modern era throws further important light on the philosophical foundations of Habermas’s theory of how democratic political institutions can be extended beyond the level of nation-states. Now that the question of Europe and its future is once again at the centre of public debate, this important intervention by one of the greatest thinkers of our time will be of interest to a wide readership.
This book examines the crisis in Ukraine through the lens of “triangular diplomacy,” which focuses on the multiple interactions among the European Union, the United States and Russia. It is explicitly comparative, considering how the US and EU responded to ostensibly the same crisis. It also adopts a “360-degree” perspective, focusing on how the US and EU interacted in their dealings with Russia, and how Russia and Ukraine have responded. Chapters focus on each of the four protagonists – the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine – and on key, cross-cutting aspects of the crisis – sanctions, international law and energy. The book thus contrasts a conventional, if exceptional, great power – the US – with a very non-traditional foreign policy actor – the EU. It would be suitable for both undergraduate and graduate courses on the EU’s external policies and engagement in world affairs, EU-US relations, EU-Russia interactions, or regional security issues.
The European Union entered into an economic crisis in late 2009 that was sparked by bank bailouts and led to large, unsustainable, sovereign debt. The crisis was European in scale, but hit some countries in the Eurozone harder than others. Despite the plethora of writings devoted to the economic crisis in Europe, present understandings of how the political decisions would influence the integration project continue to remain vague. What does it actually mean to be European? Is Europe still a collection of peoples that rallied together during good times and then retreat to nationalism when challenges appear? Or has Europe adopted a common identity that would foster solidarity during hard times? This book provides its reader with a fresh perspective on the importance identity has on the functioning of the European Union as exemplified in Jürgen Habermas’ seminal text, ‘The Crisis of the European Union: A Response’. Rather than exploring the causes of the crisis, the contributors examine the current state of European identity to determine the likelihood of implementing Habermas’ suggestions. The contributor’s interdisciplinary approach is organized into four parts and examines the following key areas of concern: Habermas’ arguments, placing them into their historical context. To which degree do Europeans share the ideals Habermas describes as crucial to his program of reform. Influence of Habermas’ cosmopolitanism through religious and literary lenses. Impact of Habermas’ notions in the arenas of education, national economies, austerity, and human rights. Jürgen Habermas and the European Economic Crisis will be read by scholars in the fields of Political Theory and Philosophy, European Politics and Cultural Studies.
While the major trends in European integration have been well researched and constitute key elements of narratives about its value and purpose, the crises of integration and their effects have not yet attracted sufficient attention. This volume, with original contributions by leading German scholars, suggests that crises of integration should be seen as engines of progress throughout the history of European integration rather than as expressions of failure and regression, a widely held assumption. It therefore throws new light on the current crises in European integration and provides a fascinating panorama of how challenges and responses were guiding the process during its first five decades.
The current crisis in Europe is being labelled, in mainstream media and politics, as a ‘public debt crisis’. The present book draws a markedly different picture. What is happening now is rooted, in a variety of different ways, in the destabilisation of national models of capitalism due to the predominance of neoliberalism since the demise of the post-war ‘golden age’. Ten country analyses provide insights into national ways of coping – or failing to cope – with the ongoing crisis. They reveal the extent to which the respective socio-economic development models are unsustainable, either for the country in question, or for other countries. The bottom-line of the book is twofold. First, there will be no European reform agenda at all unless each country does its own homework. Second, and equally urgent, is a new European reform agenda without which alternative approaches in individual countries will inevitably be suffocated. This message, delivered by the country chapters, is underscored by more general chapters on the prospects of trade union policy in Europe and on current austerity policies and how they interact with the new approaches to economic governance at the EU level. These insights are aimed at providing a better understanding across borders at a time when European rhetoric is being used as a smokescreen for national egoism.

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