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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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Chapter IV: Global communication and the identity of the Europeans


Chapter IV Global communication and the identity of the Europeans The title of this chapter is a little bit misleading. I do not intend to present European participation in global communication although such a task would be certainly worth the effort. Instead, I would like to consider the very concept of “the Europeans” as a problem. The phenomenon of global communication seems to be working towards solving this problem, and I am going to argue that global communication can be a crucial factor for the emergence of the Europe- ans as a category of human population bound by a specific identity. It is clear that the problem I have to tackle is one of the relationship between communication and identity, and especially between global communication and collective identity. My focus will be on the possibility of further development of European identity in the context created by the global communication. The issue of culture is one of the most important problems here. It seems, however, that the fear of a universalisation of culture, expressed by many world intellectuals, may be quite unfounded (Niżnik, Józef, 2007). The diagnosis of authors such as Ulf Hannerz that “there is now one world culture” is usually provoked by the world-wide presence of some cultural elements (Hannerz, Ulf, 1990;249). Globalization has indeed reached into the realm of culture but also in this area its impact seems to be somehow ambivalent. On the one hand, cultural diversity is still regarded to be one of...

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