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Democracy versus Solidarity in the EU Discourse


Jozef Niznik

It is hard to find another two concepts which would be more significant in the European integration discourse than «democracy» and «solidarity» and at the same time more ambiguous in the political practice of integration. Currently European integration discourse is being organized around the concept of democracy. Analyzing European integration discourse the author argues that the situation is quite paradoxical because in order to secure democracy in the EU, European integration discourse must be organized not around the concept of democracy but around the concept of solidarity. The book attempts to show in more details the context of the clash of these fundamental values which serve also as the leading political principles of European integration. Therefore several further concepts and problems have been discussed such as the issue of identity, the concept of citizenship and the problem of nationalism. Since the theoretical framework of the analysis have been built around the idea of discourse the inevitable consequence was to look at some aspects of communication and the links between conceptual and normative development of the European integration.


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The current volume has been built out of texts which I have written over several years while working in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences on the European integration discourse. Therefore, its different parts were presented at international conferences and some of them published in collective volumes. Most of Chapters 1 and 7 were published in books edited by Josef Langer for Peter Lang publishing house (Niżnik, Józef, 2008, 2011a). Part of Chapter 2, has been published in a book edited by Marion Ellison for Policy Press (Niżnik, Józef, 2011b). Most of Chapter 4 has appeared in a book edited by Carlo Mongardini for Bulzoni Editore (Niżnik, Józef, 2002), and Chapter 6 in a book which I have edited for IFiS Publishers (Niżnik, Józef, 2006a). Some parts of Chapter 5 have been taken from my article published in the Polish Sociological Review (Niżnik, Józef, 2000). I would like to express my thanks to all the above publishers for their consent to include those fragments in the present publication.

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