The Political Form of Europe Europe as a Political Form
Title: The Political Form of Europe Europe as a Political Form
Author: WAGNER, Peter
Citation: Thesis Eleven, 2005, 80, 47-73
European integration needs to be analyzed in terms that address the normative self-understanding of the emerging polity or, in other words, the self-understanding of European modernity. While it is often argued that such European self-understanding is either entirely indistinct from the general self-understanding of the West, i.e. a commitment to human rights and liberal democracy, or highly problematic, because it makes overly thick presuppositions, which are untenable against the background of European cultural diversity and risk to revive non-liberal European political traditions, the attempt here to reconstruct European political modernity suggests that the general, universalist commitment to liberal democracy is insufficient to understand Western polities, and it aims to propose this argument by elaborating a more complex concept of political modernity than can usually be found in political theory. The struggles about European political modernity across history are interpreted with a view to understanding how the self-understanding of a modern polity evolved and changed
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