The Societal Function of European Integration in the Context of World Society
Title: The Societal Function of European Integration in the Context of World Society
Author: KJAER, Poul
Citation: Soziale Systeme. Zeitschrift für Soziologische Theorie, 2007, 13, Heft 1+2, S. 367-378.
In the last decades in Europe non-legal and non-political functional systems have increasingly substituted their structural couplings with the political and the legal systems in the national form with couplings to the EU. As European couplings are less intrusive than national couplings, this switch leads to a relative increase in autonomy of the non-political and non-legal systems. A central reason for the lower level of intrusiveness of the EU can be found in its internal structure. In spite of certain state-like features, the EU should rather be understood as a conglomerate that horizontally bundles a broad of range of rationalities. Its policies are moreover directly aimed at reducing asymmetries between functionally differentiated segments of society instead of the forging substantial unity. Hence, the EU’s political system does not describe itself as superior to other functional systems.
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