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Europe or Not! Multiple Conversations and Voices

With Alberto Martinelli, Vittorio Cotesta, Nadia Urbinati and Alain Touraine


Edited By Monica Simeoni

Europe is in crisis and the EU project risks disintegration. The refugee and Brexit issues, as well as recent events in Turkey, demonstrate how serious matters really are. In a EurActiv interview, in February 2016, Edgar Morin, the French sociologist and philosopher, speaks of a «planetary crisis» and the need «to change civilisation» in order to respond to the complexity of today’s world. Furthermore, the drama of terrorism, a new phenomenon for contemporary western democracies requires serious reflection regarding jihadism and its radicalisation.

These are but some of the issues addressed during the multiple conversations held with the three sociologists, Alberto Martinelli, Vittorio Cotesta and Alain Touraine and with the political scientist, Nadia Urbinati. All the interviewees are leading experts on European issues and institutions, as well as on democracy put to the test currently by rampant populism in almost all the EU countries. Alain Touraine fervently holds that «it is madness» not to want a united Europe at a moment when we need a new political and economic project capable of defeating the nationalism, walls and separation between states that now seem to prevail.

Europe finds itself in a dramatic position: it must choose innovation and construction, or disintegration, with all the unpredictable consequences this may entail.

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I wish to thank all those who helped me with their advice, by suggesting books and articles to consult, while tracking and discussing this difficult, impervious and increasingly uphill pathway of European politics.

I wish to thank, in particular, Professors Alberto Martinelli, Vittorio Cotesta, Nadia Urbinati and Alain Touraine for their availability and for putting some of their precious time at my disposal to discuss a dramatic and topical issue such as Europe, sharing their ideas concerning an EU project that has always seen them involved as protagonists and experts.

Not only, after more than a year, they agreed to reflect once more on Europe, increasingly divided as States and Nations raise walls and fences instead of seeking common solutions for integration. But their pro-European sentiment – while they are perfectly aware of the present dramatic difficulties – has been strengthened, not weakened. The project in favour of the Union is the “last call” for a continent that might find the economic, moral and political resources to permit it to go on playing a leading role upon the worldwide stage.

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