New Perspectives from Legal and Political Theory
Edited By Antonia Geisler, Michael Hein and Siri Hummel
Paul Ricœur’s Thought as the Basis for a Political Theory of the European Union
This chapter introduces the political theory of the European Union, based upon Paul Ricœur’s definition of ethical aspiration – ‘the intention of achieving “a good life” with and for another man in just institutions.’ This definition constitutes the basis for a conception of interrelations of a man with the community, discussed as interrelations between a citizen, democratic society and institutions of the European Union. It is the core basis of an undertaken argumentation which starts with the micro-scale of the entity whose characteristic feature is the intention of a good life; it then goes on to the ‘meso’ level, i.e. to an interpersonal relationship in broad terms; finally the argumentation aims to describe the macro-scale of just political institutions. Consequently, the chapter presents a homogeneous conception of social structures, interpersonal relationships and democracy, related to the concept of the subject (ipse), as defined by Ricœur in his work Soi-même comme un autre.
Today, the question about the social and political future of the European Union takes various forms in the context of uncertainty, caused by a recurring wave of economic upheaval. Current complications arise the need for a new political theory embracing the whole range of European players: institutions, states, small countries, businesses, and individual citizens. Such restored theoretical reflection could breathe a new spirit into EU structures in which the particularism of strong players prevails over the spirit of community. The following chapter constitutes an attempt to...
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