The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration

By Glyn Morgan | Go to book overview

Afterword to the Paperback Edition

THIS BOOK was written against the backdrop of two ambitious projects: the European project to sign a Constitutional Treaty for its (then) twenty-five member states; and the American project to pursue a more unilateral foreign policy. Both projects failed. Europe is today struggling to come to terms with the French and Dutch repudiation of the Constitutional Treaty and, more generally, with a loss of confidence in a “deeper and wider” Europe. America is struggling with the consequences of its ill-conceived invasion of Iraq. Despite these changes, there is little I would alter in the argument of this book. Its two central claims—that the European project suffers from a justificatory deficit, and that Europe needs a superstate—remain as valid today as before.

My aim in this afterword is, first, to update the argument in light of the changes of the last few years, and second, to respond to some objections raised by critics and commentators.1 As some have noted, my argument draws upon the literature of comparative politics, international relations, and—most heavily—political theory. This approach reflects a commitment to what might be termed applied political theory, which seeks to tease out and examine the values that inform the policies, institutions, and proposals for their change that shape our political world. Debates about the European Union inevitably appeal to values— including nationality, welfare, security, and democracy. An applied political theory of the European Union tries to assess the coherence of these values and to identify the institutions and policies that such values support. There is nothing necessarily normative (or prescriptive) about an applied political theory. Nonetheless, an applied political theory takes a normative form when the theorist defends the relative importance of particular values (security, for instance) or offers an interpretation of how that value ought to be understood (as a form of nondependence, for instance).

Talk of values inevitably provokes disagreement. Sometimes this disagreement centers on the importance or interpretation of the values themselves; other times it centers on the laws and institutions best suited to secure them. Disagreement is, for better or worse, a defining feature of political life. Disagreement is especially problematic in the context of constitutional politics. Not only does a constitution distinguish policies to be enacted through ordinary political channels from

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The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Justification 24
  • Chapter 2 - Nationalism 45
  • Chapter 3 - Euroscepticism 56
  • Chapter 4 - Welfare 70
  • Chapter 5 - Security 89
  • Chapter 6 - A Postsovereign Europe 111
  • Chapter 7 - A Sovereign Europe 133
  • Conclusion 158
  • Notes 171
  • Afterword to the Paperback Edition 199
  • Index 207
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