Europe at a critical legitimacy juncture: which people, whose values?

Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Europe in Discourse - Agendas of Reform: September 21st - 23rd, 2018 Hellenic American University, Athens, Greece (2019)
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This paper discusses the discursive nexus of ‘the people’ drawing from the mediatisation and institutionalisation of Brexit. It focuses on how metadiscourses of popular sovereignty have been instrumental in the legitimation of Brexit and on how such discourses are now more widely echoed in different populist and nativist political projects across Europe that are seeking consensus through a delegitimation of the EU. The discussion draws attention to the emergence of counter discourses of the people but also to the structural conditions that prevent or limit the consolidation of robust transnational forms of European citizenry. This scenario will arguably define the next European elections as a critical juncture where the legitimacy of the European project will be contested in the name of different ‘peoples’ and ‘values’.



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Dr Franco Zappettini
University of Liverpool

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