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A Political Theory for Our Time


Edited By Lucio Levi, Giampiero Bordino and Antonio Mosconi

This volume is a collection of essays published between 1999 and 2015 in the review The Federalist Debate. The book highlights the issue of federalism intended as a theoretical paradigm to interpret the major problems of our age, and in particular the issues of peace and war in a world characterized by an uncontrolled globalization.

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Steps towards European and World Federalism




We need ‘an active and capable EU’ to ‘make an impact on a global scale’ and thus ‘contribute to an effective multilateral system leading to a fairer, safer and more united world.’1. Such was the conclusion of the strategy paper agreed by the EU Council in December 2003; and it corresponds to what surveys and other evidence show to be a prevalent aspiration among citizens of member states. Thus the question is not what the citizens and their governments want in this respect, but rather what the Union could do to bring it about; and the purpose of this article is to show how the federal idea, as manifested in the European experience since 1950, can make the only genuinely effective contribution to the process.

The first lesson from that experience is that the basic driving force for introducing substantial federal elements into the relationships among European states has been a deeply felt need to deal with the danger, in an unreformed interstate system, of the possible recurrence of intra-European war. That motive, along with the need to deal with common economic problems, has carried the Union far towards federal arrangements for the economy as well as to the establishment of permanent peace among the member states. But this application of the federal idea to its internal polity has not been accompanied by an equivalent process in its relationship with the rest of what is becoming an increasingly dangerous world. While the...

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