‘Borderline Europe’

Justine Lacroix

in European Stories

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594627
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595738 | DOI:
‘Borderline Europe’

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Justine Lacroix argues that the current French controversy over Europe is embedded in a deeper debate on the nature and proper locus of democracy. Citing thinkers such as Marcel Gauchet and Pierre Manent, she demonstrates that Europe is either conceived as the symptom of a “religion of law”, which supposedly undermines democracy; or conversely blamed for its incapacity to implement the human rights that it endlessly claims to represent. The different perceptions of Europe, seen either as an “undefined” space or an “exclusive” entity centred on its own particularities, are indeed in total contradiction. However, Lacroix shows that there is no equivalent in French intellectual circles to the model of federal supranationalism advocated by Jürgen Habermas. French intellectuals writing on Europe, whether national republicans or liberals, almost all insist on the nation as the main locus for political socialiation, but they disagree on whether the EU constitutes an unwelcome motor for the dissolution of national communities or a promise to move beyond the sole nation‐state framework.

Keywords: national republicanism; human rights; universalism; Pierre Manent; Marcel Gauchet

Chapter.  7879 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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