Quasi-national european identity and european democracy

Law and Philosophy 20 (3):283-311 (2001)
Abstract
Democracy may well be the primary virtue of political systems. Yet European politics is marked by a democracy deficit that will not disappear spontaneously. While legal and political theory on this issue is dominated by supporters of civic institutionalism and constitutional republicanism, liberal nationalists seem to be split. They justify the civic nationhood of member states, but they shrink away from the idea of a European people. This essay claims that a quasi-national conception of European identity can be conducive to the rise of a democratic political union of Europe. It discusses the mechanisms and rules for Europeanization of the sense of equal dignity and solidarity. This approach to supranational identity is explicitly instrumental and orientated towards the long run. However, the main liberal objections against it can be countered.
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