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‘We, the European People . . .’—Relâche?

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The failure of the European constitutional treaty has not been taken seriously by the European constitutionalists. It is regarded as a kind of accident which will be repaired in due course. The article is a plea for a reopening of the debate on Europeanness. Europe cannot and should not be a ‘superstate’; nor can it be a kind of revival of the European nation state which is threatened by globalisation. Even less can it be a community of post-national deliberators as Jürgen Habermas would have it. Europe should be constructed as an entity of its own which responds to the heterarchical relational logic of fragmentation which characterises post-modernity and globalisation of which it is a part. It cannot be its counterpart. Europe does not need a ‘constitution’, and it does not need a ‘people’ either.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Hamburg, Law Faculty, Schlüterstr. 28 Hamburg D 20146 Germany.

Publication date: March 1, 2008


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