Post-national Sovereignty: the European Union path towards political identity


FCT funded:  PTDC/FIL-ETI/108287/2008

 

Visit the project's website here.
 

General Description

In recent years the concept of sovereignty has gone through a serious reconceptualisation. Phenomena known and discussed under the label of “globalisation” impelled a reconsideration of what has been thus far one of the central cores of the theories of the state, i.e. its sovereignty. Defined in the wake of Bodin as a self-sufficient source of authority that does not recognise any higher above itself, in the last two decades the rise of “post-national constellations” of political authority have led to serious attempts to reconstruct both the notion and the practice of sovereignty beyond the state.

A relevant portion of this debate revolves around the thus far most extensive experiment to give shape to a post-national political entity, i.e. the European Union. Whilst still struggling with the question of sovereignty, EU institutions and members have progressively steered towards the acquisition of symbols that embody some central characteristics of a political identity shaped according to the model of constitutional patriotism. The European identity has thus been oriented towards an “ethical identity” based on the protection and common acknowledgement of a set of rights and values. The Charter of Fundamental Rights is the medium which was designated to fix the fundamental rights and values of the European peoples in order to highlight the foundation of a common political ethics.

Besides this “institutional way” to foster the evolution of the EU towards a new post-national political entity, scholars have pointed out how contemporary democracies are and must be characterised by a dialectical relation between institutions and civil society, thus asking the question as to how such a European civil society could emerge. As a matter of fact, besides theoretical attempts to reconceptualise sovereignty, a remarkable contribution to the evolution of the concept comes from the political language of civil society organisations, which offer an understanding of sovereignty beyond the state by claiming institutional protection of areas of common interest in everyday life. The analysis of the concept of sovereignty as it is used in the context of civil society organisations and social movements offers therefore new insight into the meaning and scope of the concept of sovereignty under current conditions of international political interconnectedness.

In the light of these presuppositions, our research aims to accomplish the following tasks:

a. To analyse the thus far most impressive example of a post-national political entity still struggling with the question of sovereignty, i.e. the European Union, focussing especially on what it has done in recent years to assume the characteristics of a sovereign political entity: the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the values and rights it suggests as the core of a European political ethics, and its political and legal implications.

b. To analyse the contribution that networks of European associations and social movements bring to the development of a European civil society, especially through a critical view of the EU as a global actor and with regard to the forms of its sovereignty. Relevant documents have been produced within the European Social Fora and discussed in on-line international networks. These two sources will provide the material necessary to our investigation.

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Events

All Events

Masterclass on Wittgenstein’s Epistemology of Religion

Alois Pichler (University of Bergen)

February 22, 2019

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

António Marques, What We Owe to Each Other (excerpt)

February 20, 2019

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Giovanni Damele, "On the Rationality of Democratic Choice"

February 06, 2019

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Erich Rast, "How to accept the transitivity of better than"

January 23, 2019

2nd ERB Project Lecture

Wagner Teles de Oliveira

January 14, 2019

1st ERB Project Lecture

Maria Filomena Molder

December 10, 2018

Book Symposium

Nuno Venturinha's Description of Situations

December 10, 2018

3rd NOVA Doctoral Conference in Epistemology

Knowledge, Morality and Society

December 05, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Filipe Faria, "The New Darwinian Naturalism in Political Theory"

November 21, 2018

Intensive PhD Seminar in Epistemology of Religion

Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte (University of Valencia)

November 14, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Pedro Abreu, "Deliberation and agreement"

November 07, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Javier de Prado Salas, "Moral Testimony"

October 24, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Schedule for the 2018/2019 sessions

October 10, 2018

Political Identity on the Threshold

International Conference

September 10, 2018

O Euro e a soberania económica

Conferência internacional

June 22, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Giovanni Damele, "Another Italian thought: elite theory and political realism"

June 21, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Erich Rast, "Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning"

May 24, 2018

Rules, normativity and values: revisiting the Kantian perspective and its critics

EpLab Conference

May 14, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

John Gibbons, "Things That Make Things Reasonable"

May 10, 2018

EPLAB Masterclass Series

Santoni de Sio

May 04, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Gilbert Harman, "Moral Realism is Moral Relativism"

April 19, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Berit Brogaard, "Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism"

April 05, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Ronald de Sousa, "Moral Emotions"

March 12, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Uriah Kriegel, "Moral Phenomenology: Foundational issues"

February 22, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Introduction to "A Treatise of Human Nature", D. Hume

January 18, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

"The Force of Law", F. Schauer

December 13, 2017

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

"The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy", R. Rorty

November 30, 2017

EPLAB Masterclass Series

Terry Eagleton - Marx and Morality

November 13, 2017

Institutions

IFILNOVA
Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa
FCSH
UNL
FCT