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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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Europe and the World




The European Union has moved quite far towards a federal system for its internal affairs, and the Constitution takes it significantly farther, though with notable exceptions in fields such as macroeconomic policy, the ceiling for the Union’s budget expenditure and the opt outs from the euro and from Schengen. But the institutional system for external relations remains predominantly confederal: intergovernmental and subject to the veto for foreign, security and defence policy; and with a variety of federal mixed with intergovernmental elements in other fields, mainly economic and environmental. The Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, as President of the Foreign Affairs Council, which is responsible for the former, and Vice President of the Commission, in which he is responsible for the latter, will have to ride simultaneously two quite different horses.

Examination of the causes of the sharp difference between the quasi federal character of the Union’s internal polity and the confederal character of governance of its external affairs may throw some light on the significance of existing federal elements and the potential for their further development. There are grounds to believe that the incremental creation of the internal polity has been driven by the response to the existential challenge that had been posed by World War Two, which made the founder members ready to share some sovereignty in order to ensure that the Westphalian system of sovereign nation states would never again lead to war among them. This fundamental motive has been...

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