In spring 2020, Europe was struck by a virus. COVID-19 has paralyzed the European Union and the political turning point of the COVID-19 crisis will drag on Europe—on the EU—for a long time to come. The EU displayed a bad picture, at least in the
Ulrike Guérot and Michael Hunklinger
Joseph Lacey, Centripetal Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 312 pp., ISBN: 9780198796886 The European Union (in the form of its
European Unity and the Conceptualization of Sovereignty in British Parliamentary Debates, 1945–2016
Teemu Häkkinen and Miina Kaarkoski
Kingdom referendum on European Union membership on 23 June 2016, one key political concept gained major attention: sovereignty . In its public discussion of the concept, the Leave side in Britain considered it a nationally important principle that should
After a complex integration process which has taken more than half a century, most Europeans—and non-Europeans—no longer identify Europe with simply an economic common market; yet the final political status of the European Union is still an open question. In general, Europe is usually regarded as the birthplace of a set of values claiming universal validity and serving as the basic political reference for citizens and institutions throughout the world. The emergence and spread of such significant concepts as civilization, democracy, liberalism, parliamentarism, (human) rights, or tolerance, for example, are generally associated with modern European history.
This article examines the enduring influence of Charles Dilke’s Greater Britain (1868), which persists today in the ambitions of Brexit’s proponents. Dilke characterized Britain as the center of a world system bound together by a common identity. Yet his explanation of that identity was riddled with inconsistencies. While he cast it mainly in racial terms, he also proposed cultural and linguistic criteria. These inconsistencies would complicate the efforts to define and delineate the reach of Greater Britain by those who followed in Dilke’s footsteps. This includes the leading Brexiteers who have advanced Greater Britain’s modern iteration, the Anglosphere, as an alternative to EU membership.
Cancelling the Political Future
Taking off from a 1940 speech by Winston Churchill, I explore the shifting sensibilities underwriting the twin impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that a component of the current period turns on a disabling incapacity to think about a determinate political future.
Conceptual Innovations, Legal Changes, and Development of New Institutional Practices
The development of citizenship in the framework of European integration has been marked by conceptual innovations. This article concentrates on three of its elements: antidiscrimination rights, the concept of Union Citizenship, and the right to free movement. In these cases, either concepts were newly coined, or already-established concepts were newly interpreted in the context of the European Union by the European Commission or by the Council. In a second step, they were then incorporated into new EU citizenship laws and then transferred into national legislation and national political and administrative practice. During the implementation phase in the member states, the innovations often led to conflicts related to the interpretation of the new concepts in political and administrative practice. The article discusses the related processes as a pattern of conceptual innovation by law making that is typical for the EU.
Islam, Secularism, and Women's Fashion in the New Europe
This article examines another European iteration of the headscarf debate, this time in postcommunist Bulgaria, the European Union member with the largest Muslim minority. Bulgaria is a country that has always been at a crossroads between East and West, and women's bodies and their fashion choices have increasingly become the symbols of the "backward Orient" or the "corrupt and decadent West" for those on either side of an ongoing national identity crisis. For the Orthodox Christian/Secular majority, the headscarf represents all that is troubling about the country's Ottoman past and Islam's presumed oppression of women. For a growing number of Bulgarian Muslims, the miniskirt has come to represent the shameless commodification of women's bodies and the moral bankruptcy of global capitalism.
The question in this article is how citizenship is reinvented and recontextualized in a newly founded European Union after the launching of Union Citizenship. What kind of conceptions of citizenship are produced in this new and evolving organization? The research material consists of documents presented by EU organs from 1994 to 2007 concerning eight EU programs on citizenship and culture. I will analyze conceptual similarities (continuities) and differences (discontinuities) between these documents and previous conceptualizations in various contexts, including citizenship discussions in the history of integration since the 1970s as well as theories of democracy and nation-states. Based on the analysis of participation, rights, and identity as central dimensions of citizenship, I will discuss the relationship of Union Citizenship to democracy and nationality.
Ewert's (Zurich) review of Centripetal Democracy: Democratic Legitimacy and Political Identity in Belgium, Switzerland and the European Union (Oxford, 2017), written by Joseph Lacey (University College Dublin).