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What Holds Europe Together?


Krzysztof Michalski is Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria. He is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and the University of Warsaw. His most recent publication is the co-written work, Modern Political Theory and the Rise of Secular Civilization.

The book addresses contemporary developments in European identity politics as part of a larger historical trajectory of a common European identity based on the idea of 'solidarity.' The authors explain the special sense in which Europeans perceive their obligations to their less fortunate compatriots, to the new East European members, and to the world at large. An understanding of this notion of 'solidarity' is critical to understanding the specific European commitment to social justice and equality. The specificity of this term helps to distinguish between what the Germans call "social state" from the Anglo-Saxon, and particularly American, political and social system focused on capitalism and economic liberalism.
This collection is the result of the work of an extremely distinguished group of scholars and politicians, invited by the previous President of the European Union, Romano Prodi, to reflect on some of the most important subjects affecting the future of Europe.

Contents

Introduction; Michalski: The Work of the Reflection Group on the Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe; Geremek: Europe as a Community; Biedenkopf: "United in Diversity": What Holds Europe Together?; Böckenförde: Conditions of European Solidarity Grabbe: What Hope for Solidarity in the Enlarged Union?; Kovacs: On the Eve of a Gloomy Feast: Narratives of Solidarity in the Enlarging Union; Rupnik: The European Union's enlargement to the East and solidarity; Biedenkopf, Geremek, Michalski, Rocard: Conditions of European Solidarity; (Concluding Remarks) Comments by 19 scholars and politicians; List of Contributors

"The argument about different narratives between the old and the new members is nicely illustrated by some of the comments... Lech Kaczynski (now president of Poland and new enfant terible of the European Union) and Jan Rokita provide examples for the eastern narrative.
To a certain extent, this books tells us more about the actual political discussion and its shortcommings than about what holds Europe together." - Slavic Review

2006
196 pages
ISBN 978-963-7326-47-9 cloth $40.00 / € 29.95 / £19.95
ISBN 978-963-7326-48-6 paperback $22.95 / € 16.50 / £15.99

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