Normative power Europe: a tool for advancing social solidarity within and beyond Europe?

Andy Storey

in Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427274
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305552 | DOI:
Normative power Europe: a tool for advancing social solidarity within and beyond Europe?

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The idea of the EU constituting a form of ‘normative power’ defining solidarity, social justice and equality in its external relations is one that holds significant appeal – not only to European policymakers but also to a number of academic commentators and social justice activists. This chapter first outlines what is meant by this ‘normative power’ before going on to examine solidaristic strategies, as a lever for social justice and equality. Manners asserts that ‘the EU is normatively different to other polities with its commitment to individual rights and principles’, which, however, are globally shared (if not as well practised by other powers). For Manners, the core E(U)niversal norms are peace, liberty, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, with ‘minor’ norms of social solidarity, anti-discrimination, sustainable development and good governance. While initially billed as ‘minor’ norms, the references to social solidarity and anti-discrimination constitute vital claims in the context of this book: they open up the possibility that a ‘normative’ perspective might allow for the practice of forms of solidarity between Europeans, and also between Europeans and non-Europeans.

Keywords: solidarity; Europe; normative power; rights; democracy; justice

Chapter.  6743 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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