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A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 6 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker.

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Presentation on theme: "A Political Sociology of European Democracy. 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 6 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Political Sociology of European Democracy

2 2 A Political Sociology of European Democracy Week 6 Lecture 1 Lecturer Paul Blokker

3 3 The Construction of a European Political Society Legitimacy Normative justifications Different views on: Role and relevance of actors (governments, experts, civil society, citizens) Institutions and integration Introduction Governo Locale

4 4 Introduction Governo Locale

5 5 Introduction Governo Locale Announcement: Examination -The student will be evaluated at the end of the course by means of a written essay NB. New deadline: Thursday 7 June, to be handed in by , by 17:00 pm; -The written essay will be of a minimum of words, and needs to contain a bibliography with at least 10 academic resources.

6 6 Introduction Governo Locale

7 7 Multiple Democracies II: Communitarian Democracy Communitarian democracy

8 8 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) Stakeholder democracy Instrumental legitimacy Communitarian democracy Contextual legitimacy Postnational democracy Universalistic legitimacy Communitarian democracy

9 9 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy To constitute and give life to a body politic is to put some things in common.... The problem of the Europeans is that they do not know what they want to put in common. (Manent, 2006: 67) Communitarian democracy

10 10 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Rather than simply a classificatory matter, how one conceptualises the common says much about the models of democracy to which one wants to lend credence. Ones perspective is laden with consequences for how one understands the purpose of the polity and the nature of citizenship, and how one understands the challenges that a particular polity or polities in general may face. It may point towards certain kinds of institutional configuration or regime rather than others. (White, 2010: 106) Communitarian democracy

11 11 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy To suggest what Europeans might put in common is at the same time to suggest a vision of politics for the EU. Likewise any vision of how a polity should look is going to involve, explicitly or implicitly, a position being taken on what it is that holds the political community together. A debate on the nature of the common is embedded in all discussion of the political, and the implications of different positions are therefore an appropriate target of inquiry. (White, 2010: 106) Communitarian democracy

12 12 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -Thus, a different strategy for legitimation of the European Union and European democracy is that of a value-based community or a communitarian view of democracy. -This strategy is based on the need to further clarify the value basis of the EU, by means of a collective process of self-interpretation or self- identification. Communitarian democracy

13 13 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -This strategy has been attempted both in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Convention on the Future of Europe; -A main discussion was about the question of Europes religious heritage as one such a value basis; -Also the Lisbon Treaty contains a reference to Europes religious inheritance. Communitarian democracy

14 14 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -example Communitarian democracy

15 15 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -example Communitarian democracy

16 16 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -example Communitarian democracy

17 17 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -example Communitarian democracy

18 18 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -example Communitarian democracy

19 19 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -The idea behind the communitarian strategy is that the EU is a p0lity in the making, and in order for it to become a robust political community with democratic legitimacy it needs to stimulate the idea of a common identity, which can then serve as a basis for shared objectives and visions for the European project. Communitarian democracy

20 20 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -This perspective posits that because of a common destiny, a common fate induced by common vulnerabilities, people are turned into compatriots who are willing to take on new collective obligations to provide for each others well-being (Eriksen 2009: 66). Communitarian democracy

21 21 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy -On the political philosophers Will Kymlickas account, the significance of a national identity and culture for democracy consists of the fact that it provides - a common language for communication as well as - a system of meaning in order to make meaningful choices; Communitarian democracy

22 22 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy -National identity thus provides individual citizens with meaning, means of communication and a distinct identity. A societal culture, in Kymlickas terms, consists of a territorially concentrated culture, centred on a shared language which is used in a wide range of societal institutions, in both public and private life (in: Blokker 2009) Communitarian democracy

23 23 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy -Imagined community It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow- members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion. Renan referred to this imagining in his suavely back-handed way when he wrote that 'Or lessence d'une nation est que tous les individus aient beaucoup de choses en commun, et aussi que tous aient oublié bien des choses. Communitarian democracy

24 24 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy -Imagined community With a certain ferocity Gellner makes a comparable point when he rules that 'Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness: it invents nations where they do not exist.' The drawback to this formulation, however, is that Gellner is so anxious to show that nationalism masquerades under false pretences that he assimilates 'invention' to 'fabrication' and 'falsity', rather than to 'imagining' and 'creation. Communitarian democracy

25 25 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy -Imagined community In this way he implies that 'true' communities exist which can be advantageously juxtaposed to nations. In fact, all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even these) are imagined. Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined. (Benedict Anderson (1983), Imagined Communities) Communitarian democracy

26 26 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -A communitarian strategy is based on the socio-cultural mobilization of people around particular ethical- cultural values and the idea of clear boundaries between the in- group (EU citizens) and the out-group (non- EU citizens); Communitarian democracy

27 27 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) -Thus, once established, the sense of common identity is maintained through a system of border control, which excludes those deemed as others, and a system of military defence that protects against external aggression, influence, and control. Communitarian democracy

28 28 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) A European strategy of communitarian democracy: -The active development of a we-feeling; -The identification of a set of European values; -Socialization of people into becoming Europeans; -A set of clearly identified criteria of who are Europeans and who are not. Communitarian democracy

29 29 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) Communitarian forms of legitimacy: -Democracy is here about searching for shared values, identify problems which need collective attention, and make hard choices about non- commensurable entities; -Communitarian legitimacy then views democracy then as deliberation upon the common good, and the enhancement of solidarity. Communitarian democracy

30 30 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) Communitarian forms of legitimacy: -Citizens are then supposed to participate in the collective quest for a common good and interest; -There is thus a strong emphasis on political socialization and the development of feelings of belonging. Communitarian democracy

31 31 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Communitarian democracy as a model: -Communitarian democracy gives a priority to an ethic of identity (Blokker 2010), that is, the idea that democratic society needs a minimal level of shared identity; -The community is paramount and communal solidarity the overriding value (Rosenfeld 2006); Communitarian democracy

32 32 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Communitarian democracy as a model: -Identity fulfils various functions: - facilitates meaningful communication; - facilitates meaningful choices for individuals; - stimulates some form of solidarity between members of a community that will never meet, an imagined community Communitarian democracy

33 33 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Communitarian democracy as a model: -Modern democracies need to make choices on membership and its criteria; -In addition, any kind of democracy needs some cultural substrate (based on a common history, traditions and shared language); -Communitarian democracy is about patriotism and a shared love of the particular of the polity; Communitarian democracy

34 34 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Communitarian democracy as a model: -This means that identity is ultimately prior to rights in a communitarian democracy; -In other words, rights are defined through the lens of a specific community; -Specific rights are deemed more important in some states than in others: social rights, freedom of expression, religious rights Communitarian democracy

35 35 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) Communitarian democracy: -Communitarian democracy is akin to what the political philosopher Michael Walzer has calledLiberalism 2, which "allows for a state committed to the survival and flourishing of a particular nation, culture or religion or of a limited set of nations, cultures, and religions - so long as the basic rights of citizens who have different commitments or no such commitments at all are protected." Communitarian democracy

36 36 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy (Eriksen 2009, chapter 4) Communitarian democracy

37 37 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Benefits of EU communitarianism: 1. Symbolic dimension: Potentially tying citizens to the European project (reflection of key values); 2. Dialogic dimension: facilitation of debate on European values (e.g. religion); 3. Collective dimension: emphasis on the common good. Communitarian democracy

38 38 Governo Locale Communitarian democracy Problems with communitarianism: 1. No autonomous political sphere, but politics expression of national community; 2. Depoliticisation; 3. Diversity is downplayed (e.g. EU is pluralistic); 4. Rights are understood contextually, and less so in a universalistic way. Communitarian democracy


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