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Security, Social Control, Democracy and Migration within the ‘Constitution’ of the EU

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Moving from Michel Foucault's criticism, in the mid-1970s, of a ‘theory of the State’, this paper addresses the relevance—for the current process of making the ‘Constitution’ of the European Union—of the obsolescence of the state concept and the emergence instead, in the course of the twentieth-century, of an idea of ‘social control’ as a way to represent conditions for social order within the new mass democratic society. Such conditions, and the theory thereof, first developed in North America, and then increasingly in Europe after World War II and especially since the 1970s. From such a comparative-historical perspective, the paper then tries to shed light on the debate that was ignited by Dieter Grimm on the very possibility of a ‘democratic constitutionalisation’ of Europe. The connections between language, social control, and a (democratic) European constitution are then discussed, and specific attention is given to the nexus that has been constructed in today's Europe between migration, criminalisation and security, as a sort of test bench of those connections.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bologna, Italy, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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