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Habermas on European Constitution and European Identity

posted Jan 23, 2011, 11:12 PM by Sergiu Baltatescu   [ updated Feb 18, 2011, 2:18 PM ]

Éva Biró-Kaszás1

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 1, Issue: 2, Pages: 79-92
Date: December 2010
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: For the last two decades or so philosophers have been reflecting on a set of practical and political concerns in connection with the new political structural arrangements beyond the nation-state. In this article two essays by Jürgen Habermas shall be examined. An attempt shall be made to tackle Habermas’ philosophical concepts of personal and collective identity as well as the role that a constitution may play in building the post-national constellation. It has been shown that Habermas has normative answers. Firstly, according to him, the fragile balance between the legal order and the particular cultures and traditions of a community has to be protected by the constitutional state. For that reason the political culture has to be “decoupled” from the majority culture. Secondly, the democratically structured attempt to achieve shared meaning has to find the delicate balance between the context-transcending universal normative claims and the claims of particular individual and collective life. Thirdly, it is possible to expand legally mediated civil solidarity trans-nationally, across Europe – we may recognize this development as the emergence of European identity –, since the process of democratic will-formation of citizens may get loose from the structures provided by the state if both shared democratic political cultures as well as a European-wide public sphere exist. The European Constitution may have a catalytic function in materialization of these conditions. It has been shown that in his deliberations Habermas tried to find a reflective equilibrium between the normative and the empirical.

Keywords: Habermas, EU, Constitutionalism, Identity, Trans-National Solidarity, European Constitution

Sergiu Baltatescu,
Feb 18, 2011, 12:59 PM
Sergiu Baltatescu,
Feb 18, 2011, 12:59 PM