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By Peter A. Kraus

The ecu Union's motto 'United in range' contrasts with the cultural standardization entailed within the formation of geographical regions and the forging of political identities in Europe. So what does being 'united in range' suggest? concentrating on language politics and regulations, this booklet bargains an intensive overview of the consequences of cultural and linguistic variety for the method of making a eu polity. It sheds gentle on essentially the most urgent difficulties linked to modern id politics. it is usually claimed that the recurrent party of variety in Europe's programmatic declarations has an efficient political impression. Kraus bargains a severe research of the way the ecu has spoke back to the normative problem of constructing an institutional body for integration which permits cultural adjustments to be transcended with out ignoring them.

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Additional info for A Union of Diversity: Language, Identity and Polity-Building in Europe (Themes in European Governance)

Sample text

There is a vast literature which focuses on the EU as a multilevel system; see, among many others, Hooghe and Marks (2001), Jachtenfuchs and Kohler-Koch (1996) and Marks et al. (1996). P1: KNP 9780521859394c02 CUFX275/Kraus 16 978 0 521 85939 4 January 18, 2008 1:57 The European Union’s Democratic Deficit with the established realms of democratic rule in Europe. The application of the principle of subsidiarity, which was introduced by the Treaty on European Union and reaffirmed in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, should make for good European governance and protect the spaces of democratic self-rule embedded in the member states.

How will a transnational union bound together exclusively by institutional arrangements maintain its cohesion if it is ridden by severe internal conflicts? Democratic capability essentially implies capability for conflict. Can the bases of a Europe which is able to deal with intense conflicts be laid down by relying on sophisticated strategies of institutional design? The project of consolidating a community that lacks collective ties which its members experience as ‘authentic’ runs the risk of overestimating the possibilities of an elite-driven constitution-making and neglecting the dilemmas of ‘hyperrationality’ (Offe 1998b: 217), thereby creating a hollow framework of political institutions that remain disconnected from social realities.

An abstract universalism that ignores the specific cultural context in which political interactions take place may end up turning cosmopolitan hopes into mere wishful thinking. Or even worse, it may confuse cultural neutrality or ‘benign neglect’ with the tacit support of dominant cultures and the suppression of justified minority claims; thus ‘benign neglect’ may easily turn into ‘malevolent ignorance’. Moreover, keeping the present-day European context in mind, in the end it is not easy to understand why people should feel committed to the construction of a polity that is expected to pay no attention to their cultural identity at all.

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